October 5, 2015

Trusting God in the Land of Emptiness

By J. R. Daniel Kirk
Dark Night of the Soul by Linda Furtado

Dark Night of the Soul by Linda Furtado

Read Job 23:1-9, 16-17

Job is a faithful companion for us through life’s valleys because Job knows that life with God does not give us easy answers. Job knows that God is powerful over all things, and so he can complain to God about what he thinks God has allowed to happen. Job also knows that he has been faithful to God and that God will vindicate him if given the chance.

But God is nowhere to be found. The darkness that causes us to call out, “Why, God?” is often made deeper by God’s silence. Job prods us to keep crying out in the darkness. When we have the boldness to say that God is just but our world is not, when we have the boldness to cry out to God and demand that God heed the voices of those who demand that God’s righteousness be made known, we play the part of the faithful righteous.

In the pursuit of humility, we must ensure that we do not give up on the idea that goodness exists on the earth and God should honor it. We too easily give up on the idea that the suffering we see or experience is unjust. Or we too easily give up on the idea that our God wants to act to make all things right. Job stirs us to remember that the very means by which God has chosen to make God’s presence known in the world is divine response to the cries of God’s people.

In the end, the injustice that Job experiences as “God’s heavy hand” and Job’s “I cannot perceive him” are one and the same. God is made invisible by the injustice of the world, but divine glory is displayed in justice, grace, and mercy.

Almighty God, display your justice, so that all may see you and know you. Amen.

J. R. Daniel Kirk is Associate Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, Northern California Campus, San Francisco, California.

The Upper Room Disciplines 2015

The Upper Room Disciplines 2015. Click to purchase this full week of devotions (“Trusting God in the Land of Emptiness”) as an e-book.

Excerpt from page 291 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.

The Upper Room Disciplines is an award-winning devotional book published annually by Upper Room Books. Fifty-three writers from diverse Christian and cultural backgrounds contribute to this yearlong guide of daily devotionals. They provide insightful reflections on scripture and offer suggestions for applying biblical truths to daily life.


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