Thursday, December 23, 2021
Today’s Reading: Job 1:8-22
Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord.
Reflection: God blesses us not only with earthly blessings, but also with heavenly blessings. Even after hearing that he has lost his property, servants, and children, Job responds to this news with worship to God. In the midst of great loss, he tears his robe and shaves his head in mourning. But he also chooses to give God praise. While Satan is given authority by God to take away Job’s physical blessings, Job shows through his worship that he has been blessed with far more than these possessions. While much has been taken away from him, Job is still blessed beyond measure because of God’s Presence and Sovereignty, God’s Power to work in his life.
God not only gives wonderful earthly blessings to Job – cattle, wealth, a close-knit-family – but also heavenly blessings – faith, righteousness, connection to God – which help Job to worship God even when His earthly blessings are taken away. Job will still undergo more trials in his story. But these heavenly blessings are what will equip him to withstand hardship and suffering.
How do we count our blessings? Physical blessings are often the easiest to see, and are indeed given by God, but how much more has God blessed us beyond measure with gifts from Heaven? God’s love, grace, joy, and peace are found only in Him. His direct work in our lives, His nearness to us, is more than we need to endure the most difficult times of suffering. In trials and temptations, when your situation seems unbearable and you feel depleted in whatever capacity, be encouraged to praise God still by counting both the earthly and heavenly blessings that He has given. God does not leave His people with nothing, but is always gracious to give much more than we need to continue praising Him, no matter the circumstance.
Prayer: Lord, every good and perfect gift comes from You. Every blessing I have received is from Your hand. Thank You for Your faithfulness to give abundantly. Thank You for Your work in my life. Please remind me daily of all of the blessings You have so freely given to me, that I might live in constant thankfulness and praise to You. In the Precious Name of Your Son Jesus Christ I pray, AMEN.
Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Matthew 25:1-30; Numbers 30-31; Job 1