42 Then Job answered the Lord and said,
2 “I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
6 Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”
Note that at this point, Job has still lost his children, his livestock, and his health, and he’s been arguing for days with his “comforters”. Yet when confronted with the greatness of God, his response is simple, “I know that you can do all things, and no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” While we may not go through quite what Job did, it can be easy to get frustrated when things don’t seem to be going our way.
It’s far too common to think if we just follow God, then everything should line up, and things will go well. After all, He is a “light to our path, and a lamp unto our feet”. How could things go wrong when God himself is illuminating our way? Yet as Job proclaims, God’s purpose cannot be thwarted, and he will do things we do not understand, and things too wonderful for us to comprehend.
And He will do this all in the middle of us feeling like something has gone horribly wrong, or at the very least, feeling like things have gone off the rails, in a direction that doesn’t make sense to us. Yet remember, God’s purpose cannot be thwarted. No matter what is going on, His plan marches on, undeterred. Which is a hard truth when things hurt, and when we feel the pain of tragedy. Yet it is a comfort when we remember that He can use anything, no matter how tragic, for our good and for His glory.
Fortunately, even when we can’t make sense of what God is doing, He is still with us. And as Jesus promised in John 14:27, His peace is always there for the asking: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” We may never have world peace, and in fact that’s highly unlikely given what Jesus said, and what John saw in Revelation. Yet, to cope with His plan that is beyond our understanding, and sometimes far outside of our comfort zone, we have His peace that “passes understanding”. Trust, obey, and leave the rest in His very capable hands.