Devotion: The Healing power of redemption and restoration

Scripture Reference

Job 42: 1-6, 10-17

1 Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do anything,
    and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
    It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
    things far too wonderful for me.
You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
    I have some questions for you,
    and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before,
    but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said,
    and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! 11 Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money[a] and a gold ring.

12 So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 14 He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.

16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 17 Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.

Where Do We Go from Here? for urban faithNobody likes to deal with pain. I am yet to meet someone who desires to sign up to a conference or a webinar that desires to explore the benefits of pain. It is not a norm in our society nor is it a comfortable topic.

Pain can be depressing. Depending on who you talk to, it can have a negative connotation to it. It has the power to connect you to people based on the experiences it brings, but also can isolate you from people because of the triggers it creates.

Job is always described in many sermons by preachers all over the world as the template of suffering. I believe as you read this, your thoughts are already coming up with a picture of what you think I will share regarding his experience. However, today, I want to show you a different aspect of Job that you never considered.

Job, was a man who honored and valued friendship. Joshua 42:10 reveals a hidden gem of divine perspective that we miss as Christians when we deal with pain. Job had gone through the agony of asking and inquiring of the Lord, so why he was dealing with this trial? His pain was public, everyone saw it, he was probably the talk of town and most likely a daily conversation at the dinner table in many homes.

Imagine how he must have felt, when his closest friends began inquiring of him if he was sure he had not done anything to bring this pain and harsh trial into his life. I believe that must have been painful. Think of the people who are close to you, who see your everyday life and understand your values, questioning you because your situation is so far-fetched and hopeless, that the only rational explanation that makes sense is, you are to blame for your pain.

Have you been judged? Have you dealt with a life situation that doesn’t make sense to those around you?  Have the questions from those close to you, become like a sting to your soul because of the audacity they show, to inquire as to why you are where you are?

How did Job move from a place of such agony and frustration to a place of a divine turnaround? His restoration was was provoked by a decision he made.

  1. He willingly forgave his friends, and prayed for them. Job could have easily let his friends go and become bitter. I believe he had already experienced bitterness and there was nothing good that came out of it. He chose to seek the wellbeing of those he cared for by praying for them
  2. He took his eyes off of his life, and did what he knew was best, pray. Job always prayed for those he loved. Job 1:5 shares how he always rose up early to pray and consecrate his children in case they had sinned against God. The pain of the trial Job was going through, made him forget what he was great at, praying for others. When he turned back to it, and prayed for his friends, his heart was softened to view his life differently. If not checked, pain can isolate and bring such anger to your life, that repels those who care about you

When he did this, the Lord restored his fortunes, his brothers and sisters showed him sympathy and comforted him while giving him money and gifts.

This season you are dealing with, is not here to consume you. God can restore and redeem you, in a way that makes you heal from the pain you went through, and desire to live a long fruitful life. He is a prayer away. Be encouraged.


Dear Father,

It is difficult for me to see the good in the pain I am going through right now. I have found myself angry with you, and wondering if you even love me. Thank you for Job, you never gave up on him, and I know you will not give up on me. Give me the strength to view my situation from a different perspective and beginning today, let my prayers be heartfelt, because I have the faith, that very soon, you will transform my life, and cause me to have joy and be comforted.

In Jesus Name


Palmer Chinchen: God Can’t Sleep

Dr. Palmer Chinchen is pastor of The Grove church in Chandler, Arizona, where he puts not only his advanced training in intercultural studies to use, but also the lessons he learned as a missionary kid growing up in Liberia. Chandler holds a doctorate in educational studies and is author of two books: True Religion and God Can’t Sleep: Waiting for Daylight on Life’s Dark Nights. UrbanFaith talked to Chinchen about his ministry values and about God Can’t Sleep. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

UrbanFaith: What is your primary calling as a pastor?

FAITH IS NOT PRIVATE: Arizona pastor and author Dr. Palmer Chinchen.

Palmer Chinchen: First, it’s to lead our people to know God and to know him deeply and intimately, and to have a rich, authentic relationship with him. With that comes the challenge to inspire them, lead them, and equip them to take his message of hope and to give our lives away to change what’s not right in this world, to love people that hurt in places that are broken.

What is the greatest challenge that you face in your ministry?

The biggest challenge right now is that I’m feeling like Christians in this country have historically and up to the present made our spirituality very personal. We talk about it in those terms as though it’s a private, inner relationship with God that happens on the inside. We limit it sometimes to our soul or to our mindset; it’s something cognitive. What I’m challenged with is trying to get people to see that when Jesus was here, he meant for us to live out the kingdom of God. Our lives are meant to be his vessels for changing not just what people believe, but changing the circumstances in which they live.

What sustains you spiritually, emotionally, and physically?

My wife, first of all. Walking with God with her is maybe the only way I’ve been able to do what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. Getting to know the pieces of the Bible that I missed early in my life has given me new energy and inspired me in new ways. In particular, exploring Jesus’ teachings around his kingdom and the “nowness” of that this last year has been absolutely reenergizing for me. And then, the people that I work with have had a profound influence in keeping me encouraged. I have a great staff at The Grove of other pastors and leaders.

How do you protect yourself, your time, and your family from the unique temptations that ministry families face?

I have four sons: a junior higher, a high schooler, and two in college so I feel like my time is always in demand. When my garage door opens at the end of the day when I come home, my cell phone goes off. I don’t take any calls on my cell phone over the weekend. I do not allow church emails to be forwarded to my home or to my phone. I only answer them in my office. And so, when I get home I want to be free of everything that happens at church. Another practical, simple thing I do is I take Fridays off. I like having Friday and Saturday back-to-back off, so all of my sermon prep work, all of our prep for Sunday as a staff is done on Thursday..

Your parents have been missionaries in Africa since 1970. How has their ministry influenced yours?

Lawrence Richard called it social learning theory. Just by being near people, you learn a lot. So just being around my dad and my mother, the first thing I learned was to live with great faith. When you spend 40 years in Africa, you realize quickly the only way you’re going to make it to the next day is to have a lot of faith and so I try to share that passion with the people that I lead and we talk a lot about faith. We take a lot of risk. I learned to take risk from my father and to not be afraid of failing.

How did growing up and then living in Africa inform your ministry perspective?

Growing up in Africa showed me how simple, and yet how powerful church can be. It doesn’t have to be about a staff and a building and payrolls. My church has a building so I’m a bit of a hypocrite, but we try to do it as simply as possible. To be honest, I think we have far too many ministries. I think we need to empower our people to meet each other’s needs, period, and stop paying so many people to do the things that people who call themselves Christians should be doing.

What influence is there from your training in intercultural studies?

We live in a globalized world and for me that’s an important part our church identity. I keep trying to tell our people that heaven is not just going to be filled with people like us. It’s going to be filled with people from every race and every tribe and every ethnicity. We can’t separate who we are as Christians from being a global people. I use that from my background to encourage people to live comfortably, to be moved towards people who are different in any way. I challenge our people that I speak to to include “the other” and to celebrate our differences, whether it be by language or skin color, or even denominations.

Is racial reconciliation formally a part of your ministry?

I haven’t termed it racial reconciliation. What we do at The Grove is racial celebration. We do all we can to make everything we do inclusive of the other and so we don’t want to be color blind. We want to celebrate those differences.

Your new book, God Can’t Sleep: Waiting for Daylight on Life’s Dark Nights, is full of stories of profound suffering. What inspired you to write it?

When I lived in Malawi, I got tired of doing funerals for babies who died of AIDS because their mothers had AIDS. I taught a class at a Christian university that I titled “A Theology of Suffering” that started with a Malawian perspective on suffering. I realized that this is the world’s common language, so it went from there.

A lot of times as Christians, we don’t have answers to life’s most difficult problems and to the problem of pain and we end up saying really cheap things like, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” That’s not even in the Bible, and the truth is we often end up in situations when on that week, for that moment, in that year, it feels like far more than anyone can handle and it is.

I talk about where God is and the things that happen in those dark times. I don’t want to oversimplify it, but there’s often a kind of spiritual change or growth that only happens on the most dark nights of our lives. If you think of anyone you would consider a mature Christian, I can almost promise you that person has been through some pain. God makes us deeper, wiser, more gentle people full of grace and mercy through it and we understand and we walk maybe a little closer to God.