January 08, 2011

Curses Into Blessings

Job 2

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
Job 2:9


My heart goes out to Job’s wife. She lost so much—beautiful sons and daughters, a substantial lifestyle, her security and dignity. Now her husband was covered in terrible sores and mumbling praises to God with ash-covered lips. Job’s own skin had become for her a living canvas depicting life’s cruelty and religion’s futility. Something inside of her snapped.

She is not alone. It’s ironic, but many folks drift away from faith in God for one of two reasons: life can be either too pleasant or too painful. Both ways of experiencing life can lead us to forget our Creator. A life of ease can lead to laziness, and a life of pain can lead to bitter despair. Satan is happy when we experience either outcome.

The gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t promise a life of ease. It’s not some sort of spiritual painkiller to take away suffering. In fact, to embrace the truth can mean embracing even more pain—for Jesus’ sake. Leaving behind lives that are built around sin and selfishness will feel like dying. But death won’t have the last word.

Dear woman, look again at your husband, Job. See in his suffering a hint of the coming suffering of your Savior. See in Job’s faithfulness to God, despite so much suffering, an expression of the integrity of faith to which we are all called. All is not lost, and all can be forgiven.

Lord, forgive us when we give in to despair. We trust the One who endured the cross for love’s better day. With him, may we let it all go into our Father’s hands. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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