Read Job 23
23 Then Job replied:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
4 I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would find out what he would answer me,
and consider what he would say to me.
6 Would he vigorously oppose me?
No, he would not press charges against me.
7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him,
and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me,
and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him;
when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face.
Job heard the counsel of Eliphaz and is still discouraged. Instead of hearing from other people in his despair, he is really longing to see and feel the presence of God. God’s presence was going to be the biggest encouragement people could not offer. Despite what was going on in Job’s life, including loss and sickness of all kinds, he knew the only thing that could possibly help was being in God’s presence.
Job had it right. But what about us? Let’s think about our own circumstances that may bring despair. It might be a friend not knowing Christ, a child going astray, or a broken relationship within the family. What do we search for? So often we search for an immediate fix that we can provide ourselves. Seeking God’s presence, like Job did, is often a last resort. How often have you said or heard prayer is the “only thing we can do”?
Consider how responding to despair more like Job did would be a wise choice. Job ran to prayer rather than resorting to prayer. He saw prayer as his first option rather than thinking prayer is the only option. Prayer is what we get to do rather than what we have to do when facing difficult times. We get to go to the Lord in His presence and be with Him in His glory.
Setting prayer as the first resort rather than last resort will change our perspective of the circumstances we face. His presence changes how we think and what we do. When we fall to our knees and feel the weight of his glory and power, what seemed insurmountable seems possible. Sitting at the throne of God in prayer reminds us that He is over all things, including our trials.
Furthermore, Job seeks God’s presence after feeling forgotten and forsaken by God. Even when doubting God, he continued to search for what God was doing. It is amazing to see Job searching for God’s presence even when he felt like God was not there. What faith! Let us all remember Job’s story and do the same.
- Have you ever been in a situation or circumstance in which all you wanted was to be with the Father?
- What are your thoughts on the presence of God? How does it make you feel? Fearful? Reverential? Comforted?
- What is your prayer life like when trouble comes? In what ways could your prayer life improve under those circumstances?
Sometimes writing down our prayers is helpful to keep our mind focused and not get side tracked. Try writing down a prayer for the day and focus on his presence. Refer back to this prayer throughout the day. Praise the Lord for what He is doing and pray for where you would like the Lord to work in.
Leave a Comment Below
Join the Team
Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.