By Luo Fan
Recently, I came across many difficulties in my job, which made me open the Book of Job and read it again. I saw the archetypal words spoken by Job: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Pondering these verses, I wondered: Why was Job able to utter these words when such a great disaster befell him? What power made him say them?
With this question, I searched everywhere, and finally found the answer in the following passage of words in a spiritual book: “In his heart, Job profoundly believed that all he possessed had been bestowed upon him by God, and had not come off the back of his own labor. Thus, he did not see these blessings as something to be capitalized upon, but took holding on to the way that he should by tooth and nail as his living principles. He cherished God’s blessings, and gave thanks for them, but he was not enamored of, nor did he seek more blessings. Such was his attitude toward property. He neither did anything for the sake of gaining blessings, nor worried about or was aggrieved by the lack or loss of God’s blessings; he neither became wildly, deliriously happy because of God’s blessings, nor ignored the way of God or forgot the grace of God because of the blessings he frequently enjoyed” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). Job had received so many blessings from God, but he did not regard them as something to be capitalized upon, nor did he forget God’s grace because of them. When he lost all his property, instead of being sorrowful and distressed or gathering his servants to go wrest them back, he obeyed God’s sovereignty and arrangement.
Then I thought about myself: When I was blessed by God in my job at ordinary times and everything went right for me, I would always admire myself secretly, thinking that I had the ability, and I often showed off my brilliance and achievements in front of my colleagues. But because I was arrogant, self-satisfied, and self-righteous, God hid His face from me. Without the leadership and guidance of God, I lived in the darkness, becoming like a fool. Not only did my work performance drop sharply, but I couldn’t see through the problems in my job at all. I even felt that I was incapable of doing this job and would be fired at any time. Living in a state of depression and disappointment, I either complained that the difficulty of the job was great or complained that the clients and the leaders were too demanding. … At that time, Job could act that way when he only realized from his experiences that all he possessed was bestowed upon him by God. Such a humanity is truly admired by later generation. In contrast, I, who have believed in God for many years, knew clearly that the achievements I made in my work all came from God’s blessings, but when I lost these blessings, I was unhappy or even negative and retreating.
Reflecting on the journey I’d gone through, I realized that, in order to save us, God has been setting up different environments for us at different times. Sometimes God arranges an environment of ease, in which we live in God’s blessings. At such times, we should thank God for His grace, and should not steal His glory. Sometimes God creates adversity for us to better perfect us. For example, in the case of Job, after he underwent the trial of losing everything and life threatening, he saw God and said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you” (Job 42:5); such a result is only achieved through adverse circumstances. Another point, which is especially important, is that we shouldn’t misunderstand while undergoing adversities, for God does not have the intention to abandon us nor does He want us to suffer when He allows hardships to befall us. Sometimes in order to temper us, through the adversities, God leads us to overcome the difficulties and improve our professional skills. Sometimes we run up against a wall because we have some false viewpoints within; and so we have to come before God to examine ourselves so as to know our false viewpoints and have them transformed. Sometimes because there’s something wrong with our work but we don’t realize it, God allows us to encounter setbacks so as to force us to stop and reconsider the work, so that we will find the problems and get them resolved. … All in all, when we meet with difficulties in our work, it contains God’s intentions of various aspects, which requires us to ponder carefully in the actual difficulties.
My false viewpoints were altered through Job’s experience. In my future experiences, I’m willing to seek God’s will in all things and obey God’s arrangements. When I don’t understand God’s will, I will no longer blindly judge and misunderstand God’s will. I will pursue to have true faith and obedience in God like Job, achieving a deeper knowledge of God.