I’ve always been frustrated by well-meaning Christians who quote Job when someone is struggling in trial. It frustrates me mostly because I remember being deep in trial, overwhelmed, and frustrated at something that had been going on for years and would continue for the foreseeable future. My chronic health issues are incurable. They can be managed (and at present, they are managed fairly well), but they are not something I expect will go away. In fact, the older I get, the more difficult they become.
So, when someone quoted Job to me, I felt even more frustrated because my struggles weren’t comparable to Job’s because God restored Job. It doesn’t appear He will restore me. Job’s struggles had an expiration date. Mine don’t. Most of you reading this will relate to that. There is a difference between going through a trial (or even many trials) for a short time and ones that last so long your only relief is the other side of heaven.
In thinking about the differences between temporary trails and permanent ones, I began to realize that there is a huge difference between Paul and Job. That prompted me to look deeper and what I found is that there are different comforts and lessons in each. I’ll be sharing about that in later weeks, but for now, I’d like to share the stark contrast between Paul and Job.
Job: Old Testament Paul: New Testament
Job: Didn’t really know God Paul: Knew God and Jesus well
Job: Before the Trial: Righteous Paul: Persecuted/Self-Righteous
Job: Questioned God and Complained Paul: Never complained
Job: Got all back and more Paul: Never healed
Job: Honored by others Paul: Mistreated/Jailed
Job: Family oriented Paul: Ministry oriented
Job: Blamed God for his troubles Paul: Praised God for trials
Job: Example of Trusting God Paul: Example of a Leader
Job: Man after God’s own heart Paul: My Grace is Sufficient for you
Job: Friend’s mocked him Paul: Friends comforted him
Job: Lost children, wife mocked him Paul: We don’t know
Job: Had lots of issues but short-lived Paul: Fewer issues, but long-lived
Job: After had honor and wealth Paul: Poor/Jailed
Job: Surrounded by “friends” Paul: Alone, but supportive letters
I had never considered this idea before but found it fascinating how drastically different these two men were. It’s interesting how different their lives were and how different their faith was. What other differences can you find between the two men?