I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
Tucked away in the last chapter of Job is this verse above. After all Job had been through, the enemy himself partitioning God to "test" Job, him losing everything, his kids, any financial stability, his health, and being left with people who in turn questioned him and his integrity, Job had the discernment to somewhat sum up his experience like this: "I had only heard you before (God), but now I have seen you with my own eyes."
Meaning before, when life was normal, and he was good ole blameless Job, just doing his thing following God, there was not the same depth to his relationship with God as after He had been through earthly hell and back again.
This sheds a unique light on hardships and is oddly encouraging for three reasons. First, it proves good comes from trials. Not only can we claim He will work all things together for good, but we can know He will provide us with a new side of Himself in hardships, a more intimate relationship with Him and ultimately this is good. Second, it demonstrates that with each trial that came, Job grew deeper in His understanding of God. I don't believe the story would have been the same if Job had suffered one of the hardships without the others. It was the sum of Job's heartache that led him to that deeply intimate place with God. Every single trial, no matter big or small, brings a different perspective and lesson that not only can sanctify us but can also satisfy us because of what God uniquely provides during difficulty. Third, knowing Him is the point. We want to be able to say we have seen Jesus up close, like Job, not just "I attend church and read my bible" but "Jesus has become real to me, He is my sustainer, and I couldn't live without Him." Trials can propel us to this place of not being able to live without Him, and can impart wisdom to our souls in a way nothing else can.
I hate hard times, because well, they are hard, and I imagine you do to, but thanks to this little verse in Job, I can look at them with a new perspective today, a way to intimately get to know and love my Savior in a way I could not have otherwise.
Maybe your in the midst of a trial and cannot see what God is teaching quite yet. Honestly, I feel that way, but, what I can do today is look back, remembering how close He felt and what He taught me through the last hardship.
What can you hold onto today to give you hope through your current season?
Thank you Jesus for hardships and trials. Thank you for showing us in your word that you promise to use them to get to know you in a more intimate way. Father, we know when we know you, you literally spill out of our lives to those around us with our words and our actions, so please Jesus, give us the strength to trust you in difficult seasons. Continue to provide us with perspective and peace. Thank you for being our faithful father. Amen.
"Sovereign Over Us" by Aaron Keys