Let's face it - this week at work was not easy. Plans that I had made to deal effectively with this week's workload were quickly scuppered by several sudden changes of plan, a series of unexpected computer bugs (aren't they always unexpected!), and the fact I felt grotty due to a pounding headache and sickness for most of the week. Deadlines queue up to be met, relentlessly. There have been a couple of highlights this week, but these have been few and far between...
There have been several references made at work today to the character of Job, who you will recall from the Old Testament had his faith severely tested. At one time Job was one of the most prosperous and happy of men, faithfully praising God for His goodness. Trying to get him to curse God, Satan destroyed all that Job owned, killed his children, and struck Job himself with sores from head to foot.
Reading up on the character of Job, I find there are references to him in several works of ancient literature. His name comes from a Hebrew word meaning “persecuted.” As well as the references in Old and New Testaments, Job is also mentioned as a prophet in the Qur'an. The story of Job crosses many cultural boundaries and still speaks to us today, exploring the themes of injustice, suffering and bitterness.
However, by far the biggest encouragement to me tonight is the fact that Job remained loyal to his beliefs throughout, and refused to curse God. I'm encouraged that the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning and he lived 140 years (Job 42:10,17). And although I can well understand the concept of 'Job's comforters', it is Job's steadfastness and hope that I take away with me. I'm re-reading the book of Job tonight.