The Good in the Bad


Job 19:25     For I know that my Redeemer lives,
        and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;
Job 19:26     and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
        then in my flesh I shall see God,
Job 19:27     whom I shall see on my side,
        and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
        My heart faints within me!


Job tries to make sense of his circumstances but they seem to be beyond his comprehension.  At the same time he continues to trust in God.  He is trying to see the good in the bad and in that moment his voice becomes prophetic.  His salvation may not come during this lifetime.  His Redeemer — his vindicator — does live and eventually at the end of time he will be the one who is victorious.  Job, with no knowledge of Jesus or the Messiah speaks of a Redeemer who will step into time and be all-victorious.  Somehow Job breathes words that draw us into a future where there will be the resurrection of the dead and a kins-man Redeemer who will pay the price and fight the battle against evil.


We must all confess that there are times when life throws us a curve ball.  Job had more than a curve ball, he had already lost or was close to losing just about everything.  He is discouraged and assumes that his only vindication will come through death.  Interestingly it is when things become the worst, when he is in the moment of the bad, that the good happens.  This prophetic word of Job’s stands out and has become one of encouragement, not only to Job, but to humanity for generations and generations to come.

As Handel wrote his epic oratorio, “The Messiah” he was inspired by these words from Job.  We hear them quoted over and over again as the soprano soloist sings the air, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”  As that song rings in our ears we are ushered to a place of holy worship, at that moment forgetting that the words were birthed out of a severe and deep pain.  The joy of the worship overshadows the place of Job’s pain. 

Could it be that God wants to take the “bad” in our lives and turn it into something we would have never even imagined?  Could it be that when we put our trust in God the “bad” can transcend human understanding and take us to a place of “good” beyond our comprehension?

A lady from our former church in Fort Wayne, Indiana has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  This is one of the worst cancers that you can get — a terrible diagnosis!  And yet, she has chosen in the midst of the bad, to find the good.  Not knowing much about pancreatic cancer she has tackled the issue with great strength and courage and in a few short months has become an activist in the cause of fighting her disease.  Her finding “the good in the bad” is inspiring her entire community and she even made the local paper just a few days ago.  Read Traci’s story here.

Yes, I hate it when bad things happen!  At the same time it’s good to be reminded by people like Job that there can be good in the bad, and that good may be far beyond what we can see at the present.  Job remained faithful, he trusted God and he refused to curse God or give up.  Maybe in the midst of the bad we ought to do the same and who knows, maybe a song of joy will be birthed that will be contagious throughout the world.


Lord, please help me to trust in you when it seems there is bad, and seek the good.  Amen.


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