After Job lost all his children and his wealth a decision had to be made: how would he react to such devastation? Most of us would believe that Job would be justified to be angry and react with rage. When problems arise, and this is a big problem, one’s true character becomes evident. Character is the real you. It is what you do naturally when circumstances go against what you had planned. The character shapes the reaction to circumstances. The character of being poor in spirit is displayed for all to see in action by Job in his response:
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshipped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (Job 1:20-22, NASB, emphasis added)
Where is the anger in his response? Where is the rage? There is none displayed at all. How can that be? It is simple: Job’s character shows forth because in his reaction he shows the character of being poor in spirit. How would we react to this disaster? Where are we in our character development?
Yes, Job mourned his loss as anybody would. He expressed grief because grief is real. But he did not express anger; instead he worshiped. His character drove him to his knees in worship rather than to anger. I want my character to be such as Job’s. There is pain in life and it strikes all of us. How will you respond to tragedy? In worship or anger?
Job also had a proper perspective as to possessions. He recognized that property and even his children were from the Lord. His possessions did not possess him though he was a wealthy man blessed by God. The Lord in His grace gives us things and He can take them away from us. Job looked at what he possessed as a loan from the Lord; he had no claim on what he had because what he had belonged to God. Because Job was poor in spirit he recognized he had no possessions but was God’s steward of His gifts.
This Chapter ends with an interesting comment: “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Are you serious? I would have to admit that I am not along the path of character development as Job was yet and probably would sin and charge God. I hope I would not, but I need some work. Suffering has hit my life once again – it has happened, and it will again. To live in the now of suffering and to prepare for future suffering I need to have the same perspective as Job and character that is poor in spirit.
Recall from the previous blog on Job that Job’s character was perfected (blameless); so meditate and pray how the following passage applies to our character development:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, NASB)