Grief and Worship

Journal Entry // December 7, 2022

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. (ESV)

Job 1:20

In this chapter of Job, we see the response of Job to the trials and sufferings brought upon him. The enemy was given permission to assault all that Job possessed and cared about in this world. So the enemy was ruthless and relentless in fulfilling this desire to strike down everything that was near and dear to Job. The enemy had Job’s livestock slaughtered along with the servants assigned to care for them. Then not being satisfied with this, the enemy set upon Job’s children and took their lives as well.  Job receives all of this news within a short span of time and we are told of his response in verse 20. His response to all of this grief, violence, and loss of life that was reported to him was to express his grief through worship. Job chose to grieve the loss that was reported to him but he did so through a humble and reserved trust in the goodness of God. He acknowledged that it is the Lord’s right to give and take away as he determines and he deserves only blessing and honor. The Lord tells us that in this response Job held fast to his integrity.

When suffering and trials come, I don’t think about grieving through worship instinctively. My initial response is grief mixed with the question, why? It is important to see that in this section of Job where he is commended for holding fast to his integrity, Job was not concerned with the question of why this happened. He listened to all the reports that brought pain and grief to his heart and allowed them to lead him to a place of worship. It’s hard to even really imagine that response. The grief must have been overwhelming. The pain had to be intense. Not only had he lost most of his possessions, which were wrapped up in the lives of the animals he owned, but these included the lives of his servants that watched over and cared for these animals. Then to add to his grief, he learns that all of his children had died at the same time. That is an unimaginable loss to receive. An overwhelming grief that would bring anyone to their knees.

And so it did bring Job to his knees. This is the point of the first response from Job. We are to see that his response to this intense loss and overwhelming grief was to fall on his knees in worship. Job being overwhelmed with this torturous grief, fell on his knees and gave it all over to God in worship. He did not simply fall on his knees and wallow in his self-pity and allow grief to consume him. He took his grief and channeled it into worship. He let his grief lead him to give praise to the Lord. In his loss, he responded with praise and worship to God alone. He did not charge God with wrong, but humbly acknowledged the authority and goodness of his God.

I need this in my life even now. I need this humble response to the trials and sufferings that the enemy brings into my life. I need to let my grief lead me to worship and trust. I want to know the reasons for my trials and sufferings. I want to ask the question of why this has happened, because I don’t like a perceived loss of control. I don’t like this feeling of helplessness. I want to charge God with wrong and have him explain exactly why these sufferings have come. Then I can pass judgment on the actions of God. This is so incredibly foolish and arrogant. I need humility and patience and trust. I need exactly what Job brought to the Lord in his grief… worship. I need to humbly accept all that the Lord brings into my life and give worship to him alone. This is the only response I need. I need a heart of worship. I need to accept the grief and let it lead me to worship of Jesus alone. For it is in Jesus that I will find comfort and peace and grace and mercy. My grief is not something that needs to be done away with and hidden away out of shame. My grief is important and I need to feel it as it leads me to Christ. I need to let my grief lead me to worship. And as I do this, Jesus will draw me close. He will draw closer and closer to me in love.

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