When it is good God chooses not to answer

Job 6:8-9
(8)  Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
(9)  Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

To say that Job was in crisis is an understatement. He’d literally lost everything, all the way down to his health. The only thing he had left was his life and given his present circumstances that seemed like a cruel burden. Why take away everything and be forced to live with the loss? It’s no wonder Job despaired so deeply that he literally just wanted to die.

Thank God He does not always answer our prayers.

“…for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26b)

Because of our finite natures, we only have a limited view of life. When the circumstances of life overwhelm us, we forget that. We think that all that we see is all that there is. All Job could see was loss compounded by loss. But he was seeing more than that. He was seeing the very foundations of his faith being eroded. Job had done everything right in his life and God was sending in all kinds of calamity in reply. It didn’t make sense. Of course Job despaired. God understood this, but God also knew where He was taking Job.

By not answering his prayer, God was able to take Job to a new level of understanding in his relationship with God. Because at the end of his trials, after God had brought Job to the end of himself, he could begin to see God. Had God answered Job’s prayer in chapter 6, Job never would have prayed:

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5).

There are things about our relationship to God that we can only understand through trial. Perhaps you’re in the midst of one now. Maybe like Job, it is a trial that has nothing to do with anything you’ve done. Or, maybe your trial is the consequence of some action on your part. As your heartache and despair move you to cry out to God, it might seem that the Lord is not listening. That’s not always a bad thing because sometimes it is good when God chooses not to answer.

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