The only explanation Job’s three friends could find for his trials was that he must have sinned in some way. That is what they told him; but Job said he was blameless. Elihu understood things better, and he said to Job, “God does speak—sometimes one way and sometimes another—even though people may not understand it. He speaks in a dream or a vision of the night when people are in a deep sleep, lying on their beds. He speaks in their ears and frightens them with warnings to turn them away from doing wrong and to keep them from being proud.” Job 33:14-17 (NCV).
There is a lot of pride in us that we don’t see. God wants to have fellowship with us, but He knows how strong we are in ourselves. If we want to have intimate fellowship with God, we must become gentle and humble in our heart. Those are the only people He can speak to.
God knows our pride and arrogance
God understands us very well—He knows our pride and arrogance. Therefore, He sends us into circumstances and gives us the specific treatment that we need to get rid of it.
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:7-8.
To walk in the light means that God can show me something about myself. And it means that I am obedient to all that God shows me through the Holy Spirit. I begin to see the sin that lives in my nature. A lot of pride and arrogance can hide behind an outwardly good form. I will discover this when people see me as an evil-doer (Isaiah 53:12). Then I really see my pride! But instead of defending myself, I can use the situation to get rid of my pride.
An ongoing development
You can have a good conscience—you don’t sin knowingly. But that doesn’t mean that your sinful nature has been taken away. It means that you are walking in the light as far as you have light, that you are obedient to what God has shown you about yourself. But God wants to show you more that you haven’t seen before!
But if you are not willing that God can show you this, your spiritual development will stop and you become one of the “good” people who cannot build up the church because of your own pride, thinking that you can know and do things yourself. But if you are humble, you know that you can’t and God has to show you.
“Dear brothers, do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested as by fire.” 1 Peter 4:12 (BBE). We need these tests or trials so that we can see our pride — that we can see the sin that causes us to be tempted. Then I can see that I have sin in my nature that I didn’t see before. When I understand this, I can be happy in temptation (James 1:2), because I know that God loves me and wants to show me more of the pride that lives so deeply in me.
God lifts up the humble
We all come into humiliating circumstances. Job didn’t understand his situation until after Elihu had spoken and God Himself had spoken to him. God is able to lift us up when we humble ourselves. It is written about Job in Job 42:12 (GNT) that “the Lord blessed the last part of Job's life even more than he had blessed the first.”
May we take it in the right way when we are humbled and when the trials and tests come! To get a greater glory, we need greater tests, and we need to cleanse ourselves more deeply. But then we can be a greater help and blessing to other people. For those who don’t see this, life becomes heavy when the gospel is preached. They feel like they have enough burdens already, and don’t want to hear any more. They don’t understand that the Word is the perfect way to come to a happy life.
But when we obey God’s Word, we will see how God makes us free from pride and arrogance, and jealousy and anger, and all the sin that makes us so unhappy, and we become blessed in what we do!