I have been on the daunting and painfully slow journey of reading the entire Bible since the summer of 2016. I have finally read through all the history sections and am now at the face of Job. I’ve heard mixed and conflicting emotions surrounding the story of Job. Some people say he is a saint, or a legend, while I think he is a wounded man with a poor choice of friends.

To be truthful, I haven’t been able to read Job because I couldn’t handle how God replaced everything Job had lost after allowing Job to suffer. It makes me question how a loving, compassionate God could toy with Job’s emotions by taking everything away from him and then giving it back. Even if Job was able to live a long and happy life with his new family and wealth, that doesn’t make up for the loss of his first wife and children. This image of God where God plays with humanity terrifies me to my core, and I have not known how to respond.

This fear of a mischievous God prevented me from seeing the message behind Job. The story of Job isn’t about how or why Job suffered, but the lesson of allowing God to take control and trusting that God has something better in mind. Job was given a gift of a prosperous life following his trials, but what he really gained was a complete faith in God’s actions and purpose.

I encourage you to sink into the depths of the Bible, especially something that has been challenging for you. God tends to speak and be present to me when I am reflecting over the more difficult passages in the Bible. The story of Job made me muse over my past actions and the way I view God and suffering, and I have come out being more in love with my savior than ever before. This week I challenge everyone to read God’s word and know that God never abandons us, especially in our suffering. Thank goodness for that!

“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5


  1. Reply
    Suzy Jolley says

    TY for your profound insight into Job; your beautiful perspective was very meaningful during my week. We are so blessed to have you here with us this Summer!
    Love, Suzy

  2. Reply
    Charles Branch says

    Thank you, Sami.
    “There will be continual testing, trials and tribulations” is the refrain throughout the Word, and I have known people who have walked away, burned out on their struggles, forgetting the One larger than ourselves that will see us through. I’ve been reading David Bentley Hart’s New Testament: A Translation from the 1st century Greek, which brings out the strident tone of that early period, and The Confessions of St. Augustine, an autobiography written in the fourth century by the bishop of Hippo (north Africa) early in his career. ‘We shall endeavor to persevere’ and we may not see the result of the work until much later in our lives. Whatever you may think I do, I’ve never felt that I’ve been working alone, and thus I have difficulty using the pronoun “I”.
    Thank you for being part (and not apart) of 1st Pres… Charlie

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