We are afraid of Job's story because we do not understand it. Much like the church seems to be afraid of those of us who are suffering in our own furnaces because they do not know what to do with us. I suppose we can be thankful that they do not come and park on our doorstep offering such accusations as Job's "friends." (*smile*) Does it seem to you that sometimes well meaning church people want us to feel as though we don't have faith or we would have been able to escape this furnace? Isn't it more likely that we have faith for the furnace - that faith is what helps us navigate through these fiery trials of life rather than avoid them? I think so...but that's just my opinion.
When Job made the statement I know my redeemer lives, he was talking to his friends who were trying to convince him that his "house was evil" or all of this would not have come upon him. I found in the first part of the chapter that he describes the anguish of social isolation well. As many times we are cut off (not really on purpose - but once again because people do not know what to do with us) from the ones we love. And if the trial lasts for years - people no longer call or drop cards in the mail as they used to. This type of social neglect and isolation can wear on a soul and Job really describes it well in chapter 19. He even goes so far as to say that his "complaint is with God." That's raw honesty right there - might do us all some good!
But then in verse 25 it's like the faith inside of him took hold and all that he just said didn't matter as much as this: but as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought! Today I will say with Job - I know my redeemer lives! And I will see Him... because I will seek for Him with all my heart - even in the furnace. Will you join me?