Saint Job — No Purpose of God’s Can Be Hindered

“Then Job answered the LORD and said:I know that you can do all things,and that no purpose of yours can be hindered.” —Job 42:1–2

Ilya Repin, “Job and His Friends,” 1869
Ilya Repin, “Job and His Friends,” 1869 (photo: Public Domain)

Job was a man of great wealth and fortune who also had a tremendous devotion in his heart to God. The biblical book that shares his story (the Book of Job) exquisitely illustrates the drama and bewilderment of bad things happening to good people. In this profound tale, the Lord allowed Job to experience some overwhelming hardships. He lost all his livestock, his children died, and his skin became covered with painful boils. However, the distraught Job maintained his loyalty toward God.

Three of Job’s friends heard of his devastating misfortunes and came to visit him in an attempt to bring comfort. Stunned at first, they did not speak for seven days. However, they then began giving Job long speeches that only frustrated the tormented man further. They came up with suggestions and reasons for his horrible turn of events.

Their words felt accusatory, empty and hurtful. Although he tried to defend himself, his friends would not listen, trying instead to steer his thinking toward their incomplete way of understanding. His feelings of despair increased, and he began to wonder (Job 31:35b): “Let the Almighty answer me!”

As the lengthy conversations ended, a younger man named Elihu came forward. Elihu had overheard the many words spoken between Job and his three friends and felt compelled to speak out as well. His overall tone was similar to that of Job’s friends; however, toward the end of his speech, he reminded Job of the tremendous and magnificent power of God.

Amazingly, after Elihu’s insightful words, Job heard the voice of God. God reminded Job how the control of every detail of the world was in his (God’s) hands — the pleasant, the difficult, the astonishing, the sublime, the daunting.

Hope began to seep back into Job’s heart. He began to have a renewed realization that complete confidence and faith in God was mandatory, even in times of crushing distress. He recanted his words of doubt, and soon Job’s happiness and good fortune were restored in marvelous abundance.


A Biblical Novena to Job

May 10 honors Job, and he is the patron saint for depression and ulcer sufferers. Perhaps you are in the midst of a bad time and would like a dose of hope. This devotion can help you to spend time with this through-the-meat-grinder saint and remind you how God is always in the picture. Each day, read the passage, pray about the words, maybe look up some footnotes, imagine how you would react if you were there, and write down some thoughts. See how the story of Job might inspire you.

  • Day 1) Job 1:6–12
  • Day 2) Job 1:13–22
  • Day 3) Job 2:11–13
  • Day 4) Job 15:1–5
  • Day 5) Job 19:1–6
  • Day 6) Job 32:1–10
  • Day 7) Job 38:1–7
  • Day 8) Job 42:1–6
  • Day 9) Job 42:7–17