Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 9, 2013

the rest of the (your) story

Paul Harvey brought smiles to millions with the rest of the story. But his humorous and profound stories are no match for the rest of the story found in Job chapter forty-two. What we see of Job’s life through the pages of Scripture, causes us to “feel his pain” and genuinely hurt for him. Losing his family, being directly attacked by Satan, and the condescension of his friends, all took their toll. We catch a glimpse of his pain through his emotional and passionate words. But then something happened: God spoke! And the rest of the story is a picture of grace, forgiveness, healing and restoration.

If you have read the book of Job, you know God speaks in chapters 38-41. The counsel of others brought hurt, not help in the midst of Job’s plight. But when God moved in, Job was deeply moved. Principles from Job chapter forty-two provide a dramatic conclusion. Let the rest of his story give hope for your journey.

Job 42:2-3,5-6
2 I know that you can do all
things; no plan of yours can be
3 You asked, ‘Who
is this that obscures my counsel
without knowledge?’ Surely I
spoke of things I did not
understand, things too wonderful
for me to know.

5 My ears had heard of you but
now my eyes have seen you.

6 Therefore I despise myself and
repent in dust and ashes.

For lack of a better way to say it, after God spoke, Job got the message. He acknowledges God’s sovereignty and speaks to God’s wisdom. And although I cannot know the depths of verse five, I believe Job was now seeing with eyes of faith and understanding that gave him the ability to accept God’s plan. Can you remember a time where your hearing became seeing, and your view of God’s plan became clear? And then when Job’s eyes were opened, repentance came. Whether at the moment of salvation, or along the spiritual journey, when our eyes are opened to our sin, repentance is needed.

As the rest of the story nears its conclusion, reconciliation between Job and his friends is in full view. God gave strong instructions to Job’s friends, and Job prayed for them. It was after this prayer that God restored to Job prosperity and blessed him again with ten more children. I sensed a heart of forgiveness in Job as he prayed for those who abused him. I sensed a heart of grace from God to restore Job’s wealth, and give him children. I am profoundly touched by the words of verse twelve. “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (WOW!) When we face trials, do we really believe that what God has for us is the better than anything we could imagine or wish for ourselves outside of that trial?

God knew what He was doing with Job. He knows what He is doing with you. He knows the rest of your story. So when your seasons are tough, hold tight to our Sovereign God.


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