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How to Deal With Difficulty: Metaphysical Lessons from Job

by Drs Bil and Cher Holton

For many people, the Book of Job is a difficult book. It tells the story of a righteous man who loses everything dear to him, who suffers horribly, who seems defeated by the very God he worships. Let’s take a quick look at Job’s story. We only have space for a few pieces of his story although our journey will take us through the entire book of Job, chapters 1 thru 42.

The narrative begins with a description of Job as a man ‘perfect and upright, one that feared God, and turned away from evil.’ (1:1) Job’s goodness is so incredible that God says to Satan in (1:8) ‘There is none like him on earth.’

Satan insinuates that Job is filled with worship for God because he has lived a life that is blessed and protected. Satan says, ‘Put forth thy hand and touch all that he has and he will renounce you to your face.’ (1:11)

Jehovah gives Satan permission to deprive Job of all that he has in order to test him. Job loses all of his material possessions, his children, his livestock, his servants, everything! Job is crushed, but he still continues to worship God.

When Jehovah rejoices that Job continues to praise Him, Satan mentions that only Job’s possessions and family have been affected. He suggests to God that if Job himself is stricken, he will turn from God.

So Jehovah says to Satan, “Behold he is in thy hand, only spare his life.” (2:6) Job is smitten with painful sores and boils all over his body (2:7). Chapter 3, verse 25 explains Job’s difficult situation. It says: “What Job feared came upon him.” Does this have a familiar ring to it? Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Listen to what happens next.

Three of his closest friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) learn of Job’s plight and come to comfort him. Chapters 3-31 contain conversations between Job and his friends.

Eliphaz thinks Job is suffering because he has sinned; Bildad ponders that if Job was more upright, he would not be in the trouble he’s in; Zophar rebukes Job for being so self-righteous and fearful, and begs him to repent.

Job reproaches them for their judgmentalness and feels forsaken by his friends and Jehovah. “I have been wronged. I cry for help, but there is no justice.” (19:7)

Finally Job looks deeply within himself, and then declares in (31:35) “Let the Almighty answer me!” When he does, his three friends go away and Elihu comes to his rescue. With the arrival of Elihu, Satan backs off. The story ends with Jehovah giving Job twice as much as he had before (42:10) and Job lives happily ever after.

Despite the happy ending, the literal interpretation of this story leaves more questions than answers. Why did Job need to suffer in the first place? Why did God co-conspire with Satan to bring about Job’s suffering? Are we simply pawns in the battle between good and evil? What was God thinking, you might ask?

All of these questions are perfectly natural questions — if we take this extraordinary story literally. The spiritual meaning of Job’s suffering becomes obvious when we take a metaphysical look. Metaphysically, the Book of Job is a case study in Mind Action. And as we mentioned earlier, Chapter 3:25 explains why Job suffered: “What Job feared came upon him.”

The characters mentioned in the Book of Job are the thoughts, personal qualities, attitudes, and beliefs we hold in our consciousness. Their metaphysical interpretations are as follows:

Zehovah stands for the Christ of us, our God-Self

Satan symbolizes the tendency within each of us to forsake our divinity.

Eliphaz represents our half-hearted desire for spiritual wholeness

Bildad is our on-again/off-again acknowledgment of our Christ potential

Zophar is our fault-finding nature which blames others for our troubles

Elihu is the Holy Spirit, the still small voice

Job represents that aspect of us that outwardly seems centered and dedicated to truth principles, but inwardly chooses to be deceived by outer appearances and then allows fears, doubts, and a sense of unworthiness to get the best of us.

So, here’s a metaphysical meaning of the story of Job:

Our God-Self (Zehovah) honors our power of choice, even if it means allowing us to deny our divinity (Satan). When we experience difficult times, the Job in us, (represented by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zohar) fears the worst in outer appearances and allows them to get the best of us. However, once we remind ourselves that it is our own error thoughts which have caused us to miss the mark; we can go to our Christ Center (Elihu) and listen for that still small voice. In the story, God doubled Job’s prosperity. The number ‘2’ indicates the two natures of us, human and divine, becoming one.

So, what can we do when we experience those dark night of the soul experiences?

1. We can transform the outer world by changing our inner world. Become aware of what you are really thinking, and claim power over your thoughts. Choose to remember your Spiritual nature.

2. We can refuse to give power to outer appearance. When the ‘Job’ in us stops giving power to outer appearances and accepts our divinity, it will be the second time fire is discovered by the human race – the fire of the discovery of our divinity. At that moment, there will be no more suffering, wars, or disease. What an incredible world that will be!

3. We can claim our oneness with God. We experience pain because we believe we are separated from God. And because we believe we are separated from God, we believe we are separate from one another. And because we deny our oneness with one another, we perpetuate a collective error consciousness, which gives power to outer appearances that strengthens our belief in our separation from our God-ness. That belief is the cause of all suffering.

So to avoid suffering, acknowledge and celebrate your oneness with God! Your prosperity, inner peace, and joy will return to you, multiplied!

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