Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant what I hope for,
that God would be willing to crush me,
to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
Then I would still have this consolation—
my joy in unrelenting pain—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
(Job 6:8-10, NIV)
All of us at some point go through experiences where we feel like Job. Our default position when God removes some of His blessings, or pulls back His presence, or holds back from revealing His plans to us, is to think that we have done something wrong, or are being disciplined, or have been found unworthy. One of the main lessons from Job is that this is not necessarily true. In fact, it may be because we have done nothing wrong!
We say, “What have I done that God has taken away the things that I love!” What God is asking is, “Is your love for Me only as deep as the blessings I give you? Or do you love Me because I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel?”
We say things like, “I just don’t feel like God is with me throughout the day like I did in years past. He seems so distant,” when the reality is that God is teaching us that He wants us to love Him, not the feelings He brings. When you are ready to grow to the next level in maturity, He will take that comforting feeling of His favor and presence from you in order to teach you that your love for Him is for Him and not for the pleasant feelings He often brings with His presence.
We get frustrated when God hides His plans for us. We say, “God, I have prayed for insight and wisdom about this decision but there is no clear answer from You. What am I to do? Why are You not making Your plan clear to me? Why are You silent?” But God is saying “I want to know that your love and obedience is founded on your love for Me and not in liking My plan for you.”
From our human point of view, sometimes it may looked like God is against us, when the reality is that He refining our love for Him, making it pure by assuring that our love is for Him and in Him and not in anything else.