Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Not all afflictions come from sin

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.” (Job 23:10-11)

In Job 22, Eliaz told Job, that to have suffered so greatly, he must have done something horribly wrong and accuses him of a whole list of wicked deeds. He tells him to agree with God who had judged him, repent, and he will be at peace and good will come to him. (Which would be good advice, if Job was actually suffering the wages of sin.)

In Job 23, our hero responds by lamenting, wishing he could appeal his case to God, and expresses confidence God would acquit him if he could. Then, in verses eight and nine, he says of God:

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.”

So, now, in context, Job is saying–I do not see him working, I do not feel his presence, but he knows right where I am and will get me through this. He expresses faith in God while defending himself against Eliaz’s charges in Job 22. It is popular in some Christian circles to say affliction equals sin. And sin can lead to affliction. But that is not always the case.

Sometimes God allows affliction and trials in his saints lives through no fault of their own, for his own purposes. Let us seek the faith and patience of Job.

Lord, thank you for your word. Grant us the peace of a clear conscience in the midst of trials and affliction. I pray we would hold fast to you and to your promises even when we cannot see you at work or feel your presence. We love you, Lord. We are choosing to trust and obey you today. Strengthen us to do your will. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.