“He will yet fill your mouths with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21)
I first saw this verse on the daily flip calendar I keep in my bathroom. I must have flipped it over in the morning but I don’t remember actually seeing it until that evening when I was getting ready for bed. I read it and the verse hit me like a bolt of lightning.
It had been a hard and stressful day for various reasons but this verse came to me as a promise from God. “Yes, your day may have been hard. Yes, you may be dealing with some stuff you’d rather not be. Yes, things don’t seem fair right now. Yes, the outcome to the situation may look bleak. But, “I will yet… _____”
This blank for you can be filled in with any of the many promises of God. In Job 8:21, He promises laughter and joy at the end of what seems like a very long, hard road to walk. Other times He promises hope when we are downcast and disturbed over a situation (Psalm 42:5). Sometimes it is merely the promise of rest when we are feeling burdened and heavy laden (Matthew 11:28-29).
But first, are you familiar with the book of Job at all? It’s not a particular comforting story in which God allows Job to lose pretty much everything he holds dear – his wealth, his family, his health, etc. Then, right in the middle of Job’s suffering, comes Job 8:21 about how God will yet bring laughter and joy back into Job’s life (which He does but that concept is for another time).
So how does Job respond to the statement from Job 8:21 when it is given to him by a friend? Job says back to his friend, “Indeed, I know that this is true. But… “ (Job 9:2). This “BUT” is what I can so relate to in my own life! Often I know in my head about the promises of God but that knowledge hasn’t quite reached my heart yet. And so I usually have to agree with Job – “Yes, I may know that “God will yet…” in my life but that isn’t what it feels like to me right now.”
However at the end the book of Job, after all his questioning and venting, Job also makes this statement to God; “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). I think so often we need to finally get to this particular point with God in our own lives as well. To get to a place where we don’t merely have second-hand knowledge about God’s promises for us but instead we have experienced the reality of these promises first-hand.
This is easier said than done. What I mean is that I don’t know exactly how you can get to that place for yourself or what it might take for you to finally be able to say this with conviction in the deep-down part of your own heart. But I do know this: no matter what the issue is that you are struggling with, God gives you His assurance that He will be right there with you through it all (Deuteronomy 31:6). And that is no small claim to make!
Then, once you are finally on the other side of it all, hopefully you will be able to see the “He will yet…” that God had promised you. Whether right now you need laughter and joy, or hope, or rest – the idea is that it will come at some point (Psalm 30:5). So may we cling to this guarantee as we put our trust in the One who truly provides.