Devotional: The Power of Planning and Purpose in Perspective
Then Job replied to the Lord : “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. (Job 42:1-3 NIV)
My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:10, 11 NKJV)
God Almighty had a really long and serious conversation with Job. Let's just say they had a sit down. And they talked, rather, God talked with Job about His creation. Yes, he reflected out loud about the complexity and mystery of all that he had made from the beginning of creation. And Job, well he listened, and listened, and listened some more. He was questioned, and ultimately, he learned through these varied questions. Lest we forget the context, this man is suffering unlike any other man had ever suffered. He endured an unprecedented targeted assault on his life. And in response how does God Almighty comfort him? Well, by discussing creation. Job lost everything and God talks to him about nature. Furthermore, God presents with complex topics that the suffering saint is humbled by the dialogue. God refers to the laying of the foundations of the world and the storehouses in which all of the rain storms and natural disasters are stored. This is really heavy stuff for a man who lost everything. It was a talk about the natural world and things Job may have never considered. It was a talk that apprehended this saint in his track, and caused him to see an aspect of God that he would never forget.
You see, nature is a powerful representation of God. There does not seem to be another. Think about it, that the first thing God did in Genesis was to create the natural world. Further, the psalmist writes, The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. And the Apostle Paul wrote, For since the creation of the world His invisible [attributes] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
As a consequence of this conversation something happened to Job. Yes, a revelation occurred in which he saw something that he never perceived before. This revelation did not cause him to see that Satan was the true cause of his suffering. No, Job assumedly went to the grave thinking that God brought about his suffering. Rather, this revelation of God’s power as expressed through creation, caused him to see three things that would help sustain him in the midst of his struggles and eventually transform his life. These three insights can sustain and transform us in our lives, as well.
First, God can do all things. Yes, he alone is omnipotent. He has all power and nothing can keep him from fulfilling his plan. The second thing he learned was that life is not arbitrary. God, who is all powerful, has plans in which he governs our lives. Job’s final insight was that God has both a plan, the step by step process, but he also has purposes that cannot be "thwarted.” God has an intention to his plans. He not only is all powerful, and establishes plans, but he also has a purpose to all that comes our way. So we, like Job, go through things planned by God so that, in some way, a purpose will emerge for the betterment of us and God's kingdom.
Father, we ask that in all of life you remind us in subtle and at times profound ways that you are in control. Life is not arbitrary, no, you have a divine purpose and the power to execute your will. Therefore, today I surrender all to you, believing that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.