Becoming a disciple: forgiving in the valley

Scripture – Job 42:10

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

Observation

Job’s final challenge. After tons of chapters of his friends chastising him, judging him, putting him down and thinking they were better than he, they now get told by God to take bulls and rams to Job and have him pray for them – something they could never imagine.

But this isn’t the most interesting thing that’s about to happen. There has been no talk from God about restoring anything (people or stuff) to Job. Job is faced with the choice of praying for his friends, forgiving them truly in his heart, with the expectation that he would still be left with his kids killed, his animals stolen, his land destroyed.

God said that he was angry with his friends and that it was in his hands to save them from what they deserved – forgiving and praying for their salvation when he had literally nothing to his name and no future hope.

So what did he do? Job did pray for them and forgive them.

Then what happened? God blessed Job and not only restored to him everything he had lost but a double measure. This only happened after he prayed for his friends.

Application

When I feel at my worst, at my most vulnerable, at my poorest and weakest, I don’t feel like forgiving and praying for those who caused me grief. Yet, the lesson from this interaction between Job and God, is profound. To forgive and pray for those who have been against me, not once I have recovered, but at the depth of my suffering, is key – and just watch if God doesn’t honor that in ways beyond understanding.

Prayer

Father, you are so good. Thank you for Job and his story. Thank you for showing him how to live in complete humility. Thank you for redeeming him and thank you for redeeming me. I pray I will be ready to forgive and pray for those who cause me grief while I am still at my worst and not waiting until I am at my best. You really do look at the heart. I pray you would find in me a pure heart. Grateful for your word and your encouragement today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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