The Problem with Presumption

Then Job answered the Lord and said: ‘I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, “Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.’”—Job 42: 1-3 (NKJV)

To admit we’re wrong is not easy. Often, we will disregard our mistakes and sins as though it is no big deal. Adam, Cain, and Saul are all examples of men who did not humble themselves before God. Due to their selfish pride and failure to admit and confess the error of their ways, their lives did not end well.

Job battled the sin of presumption. His presumption was a disrespectful attitude due to lack of true knowledge of God and God’s goodness. Sound familiar?

We sin when we angrily point at God and say, “If God is in control, how could He allow this?” “If He really is loving then why all the horrible suffering and wars?” or “Why am I suffering so much?” We make a long list of presumptions and accuse God because we lack understanding of God and His character.

When God revealed Himself, Job eyes were open to his wrong attitude. The point of revelation came when Job humbled himself. He now knew in his heart that God was in control not only of all of creation, but also his very life. How beautiful and promising!

My only niece, Jessica, died in 1995 at age18 from a brain hemorrhage. She was so full of life and spoke often about Jesus to her friends. My brother’s family, along with others, still do not fully understand God’s purpose in taking her so young, yet we have seen God’s goodness and glimpses of His purpose the past 23 years. 

Presently we are unable to see beyond today nor know the reasons for everything that happens. God longs for us to trust Him. Job came to trust God. Despite his suffering, Job knew God would fulfill His purpose for his life. 

Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation to Job. Maybe you don’t understand why you’re suffering. Maybe you’re asking, “Why is this happening to me?” Please know the Lord has not abandoned you or forsaken you. He loves you and has a plan for you, even if you can’t see or understand it right now. Clinging to this truth may just prevent you from falling into the same sin of presumption as Job. 

Charles Swindoll, in his book Great Lives: Job: A Man of Historic Endurance, gives us some excellent points to consider as we seek to avoid the attitude that overtook Job:

•    God’s purpose for me is unfolding, and I cannot hinder it.
•    God’s plan for me is incredible, and I will not comprehend it.
•    God’s reproof is reliable, and I dare not ignore it.
•    God’s way is best for me, and I must not resist it.

DIG: Do you believe God has your life and all your interests at heart? If not, what would convince you? 

DISCOVER: Read these verses to encourage you: Job 23:10, 14; Psalm 138:8; Jeremiah 29:11-13; and Philippians 1:6.

DO: Like Job, your life is an open book telling the world about God’s glory and goodness. God will use everything you go through to reveal His purposes. May He shine through your example. 

About the Author

Jeff Seward