Not long ago, I stood by the bedside of a dying saint. This man had been a member of my church for 50 years. He was known throughout the community as a kind and gentle man. He never lost his temper or spoke ill of anyone. For the last six years, he had spent his life in a nursing home, suffering from one ailment after another. As I stood by his bed with his family, his son-in-law looked into my face and asked, "Can you please tell me how God gets any glory for this?"
Our spirituality encourages us to proclaim our victories, but we lament in silence. We have room for a God who is active in our affairs. We even have room for a Satan who is active in our affairs. But we have little or no room for a God who seems indifferent to our suffering. Certainly, we have no room for a God who moves to afflict. But the Scriptures give us such a testimony.
In the first chapter of the book of Job, we are introduced to a man who is a saint in every way. His flocks and children are among the many blessings of God in his life. But one day a dreadful storm blows into Job's life. A messenger brings the news to Job: "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine … and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died" (Job 1:18-19, NASB).
The Hebrew word for wind is ruach, also translated into English as "spirit" and "breath." This same word is used in Exodus, where we are told that the Red Sea was parted by a blast from the nostrils of God (Ex. 15:8). The great wind of God plays a significant role in the life of Job.
Many will protest, "It wasn't God who sent that great wind, it was the Devil!" In general, that's the witness of Scripture: ...1
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