The Book of Job

For years, I was an atheist, unwilling to believe in or do homage to a God who would allow suffering by the innocent.

My view was a direct result of the abuse I had endured, and the suffering of all kinds I saw around me. I could not reconcile a good and just God with the many injustices in the world.  Faith was a fool’s game.

The Bible’s Book of Job, in particular, revealed the merciless nature of God. So I thought. A devout man is caused to lose his property, his children, and his health. All to demonstrate that his faith in God is not a response to good fortune alone.

I saw the God who would allow this as sadistic. I viewed the Book of Job as an obscenity, and rejected the propositions it put forward. For a long while, I preferred to rage.

When I found the law as a profession, it felt as if a sword had been placed into my hand.

But the Book of Job is a profound study in suffering. It makes the point that God is God. We are merely His creation, dearly though He loves us.

In the end, I came to recognize that we cannot substitute our sense of justice for God’s. We do not have His perspective. We cannot see the end from the beginning.

Christians do not always know why suffering takes place. Ours is a broken world, not the paradise we might wish.

Christians do, however, know the true character of God. He truly is holy, good, just, and merciful. He and only He is the God who suffered as we suffer, even dying for our sakes. Amid the severest of trials, He somehow sustains us. And we have His promise that He will use all things somehow for good.

That promise cannot be applied simplistically. No Christian would contend that good can come to a child from sexual molestation, torture, or neglect.

But a surprising number of us abused in childhood have survived our pain, and recovered sufficiently to reach out to others. On its face, that may seem impossible. That it takes place at all is a perfect illustration of God’s grace.

Too many children carry lifelong scars of their abuse. Too many die along the way. We must do everything in our power to prevent and remedy that.

But for those whose lives are ended too soon, there is no more pain or sorrow, only an eternity of joy. For them and all the rest of us, there will at the Final Judgment be justice.

These days, I read the Book of Job for comfort and assurance. Like Job, I have known the valley of the shadow. But like him, let me say:

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13: 15).

You see, I now take some things on faith.




Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

11 responses to “The Book of Job

  1. Reblogged this on Ponderings of a Hypocritical Christian and commented:
    I really love this testimony to God’s goodness.

  2. Excellent points, Anna. The book of Job is a kind of test for us because it forces us to explore the nature of God. Great post.

  3. A wonderful article, dear Anna! ❤ Matches completely with own thoughts. Also, that Scripture hits the nail right smack on its head,

    Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13: 15).

    God brings us to the end of ourselves, each of us differently, but always to the point of “no return to self possible” until we cry out to Him for help, just as Job it. And then God answers…

    May God bless you immensely in 2015!


  4. nlala971

    WOW touching article. Very lovely

  5. Thank you, Nlala…or should I say “merci”?

    • Anna, as you might know, I had my own period of trials (my wilderness) for 14 years in which God removed all tangible signs that He still loved me and also removed most of my means of support as well. I spent most of it in depression as a result. Looking back now, I can see it was to teach me NOT to rely on humans and to kill the spirit of religion in me and to seek Him first and above all. I had to learn that HE alone is God and I AM NOT and then find Christ as my total sufficiency in ALL things. I also learned that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a LIVING God, but a wonderful thing to fall into His arms of love.Tough He should slay me, yet will I love Him! Thank you for your honesty and loving kindness.

      • Your comments are always very moving, Michael. Like you, I learned when my health failed that I was not God. It ultimately became clear that He loves us whether we are capable of “earning” His love or not. That was a valuable lesson for me.


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