Job 29:1–3: “Job further continued his discourse, and said: ‘Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me; when His lamp shone upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness;’”

June 21st, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Job was longing for the good-old days, for the days when he felt God had been watching over him. However, Job’s assessment of his present situation was not accurate. God had allowed Satan to take his best shot at Job. And because his life became difficult and painful, Job felt that the intimacy he had once had with God was suddenly missing. His former days had been better than his present ones; nevertheless, God was still watching over him and holding Satan back from killing him. It didn’t feel like that to Job, and he couldn’t look at his circumstances and see that fact; but his feelings and limited sight didn’t make it any less true. Looking from the outside, we know that what seemed like a loss of intimacy to Job was actually God proving to Satan that Job would remain a righteous man, even if he lost his wealth, family, and health. Over the course of Job’s suffering, he was learning firsthand what Solomon would write many years later: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, / And lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

Many believers seem to struggle with these kinds of thoughts: “Oh, for the good-old days, when the living was easy.” No matter how like a bed of roses our lives may be, there will always be thorns; because life is filled with things that go wrong: people get hurt, illnesses strike, hearts get broken. There is a danger of missing the good things of the present moment because we are dwelling too much on our own romanticized memories of the past. Interestingly, the good old days, if we really examine them critically, are not nearly as good as we first remember them to be. We can learn from Job that what we feel and see is rarely the whole story. So when we find that we are unable to change our circumstances, we must pray, accept, trust God, and choose a good attitude; remembering to be thankful for the blessings that can still be found even in the midst of a storm. An army chaplain spoke to a wounded soldier who was in a VA hospital after returning from Afghanistan, “You have lost an arm in a good cause.” “No,” said the soldier with a smile. “I didn’t lose it—I gave it.” Many things can be taken from us except our ability to trust the Lord and choose a thankful attitude.

“LORD, we choose to give away our lives to You this day.”