God and Your Good Future
(taken from an article in The Look OUT by Standard Publishing)
Job was a wealthy and respected man, blessed with good health and a loving family. Then God allowed Satan to take it all away—nearly every temporal blessing Job enjoyed.
Left with nothing and suffering excruciating physical torment, Job cried out to God, complaining in his desperation. While God remained silent, Job’s friends came to console him but offered little practical comfort.
At last God spoke and put everything into perspective. Job realized he had been wrong to question God: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). God honored Job’s suffering and submission.
Near the end of the account we learn that God restored Job’s wealth along with his health, providing “twice as much as he had before” (42:10). Interestingly, the book of Job begins and ends with a precise count of Job’s livestock. A quick look at the numbers shows the phrase “twice as much as he had before” was not an estimate. God doubled—to the animal—the sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys Job previously lost.
God restored Job’s family, giving him seven more sons and three more daughters in place of the seven sons and three daughters he lost. God even restored Job’s good name so that “All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him” (v. 11).
God allowed Job to suffer great hardship, probably more than any of us will endure in this life. But in the end God graciously restored all Job had lost.
Job’s experience doesn’t guarantee something similar will happen to you and me. But it reminds us that God is the God of a good future. The same God who promised Israel, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25), cares for us and wants to bless us more than we want to be blessed.
The New Year we’ve recently welcomed holds hundreds of new tomorrows, each tomorrow bringing its own hope, its own possibilities. Perhaps in this New Year God will restore what you have lost. Perhaps you’ll get a fresh start, a chance to do differently or even better than before.
You may be given the opportunity to restore a broken relationship, get a second shot at purity, or rebuild a damaged reputation. The tomorrows of the New Year may renew your confidence, strengthen your hope, deepen your dependence, restore your joy, and fill you with peace. The days ahead may lead to a contentment you haven’t felt in years, a purpose you never fully understood, or a ministry you never had the courage to pursue.
On the other hand, the New Year may be difficult for you. God never promised us an easy life. But he has promised to be with us in good times and bad.
He may choose in our lifetimes to give back what we’ve lost, to bless us in ways we can’t imagine. But if he doesn’t, he is still God and he is still good. Rest assured, one day he will restore us as only he can.
In the meantime, we live in the comfort of a marvelous promise: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23).