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Trusting God in the Darkness
Job 23:8-10

by David A. DePra

Behold, I go forward, but He is not there. And backward, but I

cannot perceive Him. On the left hand, where He doth work,

but I cannot behold Him. He hideth Himself on the right hand,

that I cannot see Him. But He knoweth the way that I take.

When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.


      Job was in the middle of a terrible God-ordained trial. He

had some terrible things happen to him. The loss of family, of

course, was most difficult. His personal illness caused much

suffering. But read the book of Job and you get the picture that

as bad as all those things were, they were not really the worst

part of Job's ordeal. The core of Job's trial consisted of the fact

that He could not find God in all of his suffering. He could not

reconcile what had happened to him to the God he thought he


      The fundamental issue in any trial is whether I will believe

God despite everything which seems to contradict Him. God

will allow us to be plunged into situations where no matter how

hard we try to understand Him, we cannot. No matter how hard

we pray, fast, and seek God for answers, He won't respond. He

simply wants us to believe Him without all of that. He required

this of Job, and He will again and again require it of us.

      Sometimes it is easy to think that if God is not giving us the

answers we want, the fault must be ours. Maybe we aren't

doing something we ought to be doing. Or maybe we need to

whip ourselves into some higher spiritual state. Then, we hope,

we can reach our way to heaven. But no. The book of Job

reveals that no matter how right our hearts are with God, He is

going to cause us to go through these times of His silence. He

simply has no other way to build faith and spiritual character in


     Some of us have the idea that to "walk by faith" means to

see what God is doing and to believe it. Well...that's true...but

only on a quite elementary level. To really "walk by faith" means

to NOT see what God is doing and to believe Him. In fact, it

not only means we WON'T see God, it will mean that we WILL

see, feel, and react in ways which seem to contradict God's

faithfulness. Yet despite all of this, God is true. I come to the

place of true faith when I am able to STAND by faith upon the

faithfulness of God regardless of what my perceptions suggest to


     This is actually cause for rejoicing. It means that my inability

to grasp why God is allowing me to suffer is normal. It is

actually a sign that God is at work in my life in a special way.

Anyone can believe God when they are in the light, on the

mountain, or have seen Him openly work. But God wants those

who will walk, if need be, in total darkness, with much suffering,

yet in faith and reliance.

     Anyone who has walked with God for any length of time

should understand Job's words. Indeed, much of our Christian

lives are spent in darkness as to the specific workings of God, but

with the belief that it is well with our souls. Faith is not that I

can always perceive God. It is a reliance upon the fact that

God always sees me, and is completely faithful in His workings

with and in me. True rest in Christ is quite difficult, if not

impossible, unless we come to be governed by this Truth.

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