Job set out on a journey that began with the question, “Why do I suffer?” He ended that journey with a powerful confession of faith, “Now my eyes have seen you.”
Three friends walked the journey with Job. Sadly, they misrepresented God and His ways to Job. When Job said to God “My ears had heard of You”, he was referring to all that his friends had said about God. Being convinced that Job was suffering because he had sinned, they judged him harshly. This condemnation caused him great confusion and added to his suffering. Eventually God said He was angry with Job’s friends; “You have not spoken of me what is right” (Job 42:7).
God held Job’s friends accountable for their misrepresentation of His ways and for their judgmental attitude towards Job. Their penance was to sacrifice a burnt offering for themselves and allow Job to pray for them (Job 42:8). Job is asked to extend mercy and forgiveness to his friends. There is to be no bitterness, no getting even - simply heartfelt forgiveness. It is this, rather than his own repentance, that results in Job’s restoration and the latter part of his life being more blessed than anything he had previously known (Job 42:12).
Job had a revelation of God. He then repented and experienced God’s forgiveness (Job 42:6). It was then that he was able to truly forgive those who had deeply wounded him, and was able to pray for them.
At the centre of the universe is a loving, faithful Creator. His love is unfailing, enduring and unconditional. He can be trusted - even when we don’t understand the events of our life. God the Father revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus and He’s abounding in love and forgiveness. His forgiveness to us is a gift of His grace. That grace is offered to us day by day, enabling us to forgive, and even pray for, those who have wronged us. Is there someone in your life today whom you are struggling to forgive?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are abounding in love and forgiveness. Please give me the grace to forgive others, as I have been forgiven. Amen.
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