I don’t know about you but suffering is not my kind of idea of fun. I know that both Paul and Peter talked about how important suffering is and how they’d gladly do it for Christ and I agree with them…if we cross out the word gladly. I think my attitude towards suffering is more closely related to Job’s perspective, except He sounds like a much better person than I am.
For those of you unfamiliar with Job, he was a rich, healthy and successful man, who’s story is found in the Old Testament. He had a wonderful family, lots of land and cattle (read: cha-ching$$), a great wife, well respected in the community, and a faithful servant of God. As a result of his faithfulness, God blessed Job time and time again. So why do we care about Job? Well the story isn’t all butterflies and sunshine. What happens is God calls a meeting and the enemy, Satan shows up for the rendezvous. Now I think in cartoons, so I apologize if this comes across sacrilegious but I immediately got this image stuck in my head:
Everyone’s celebrating and worshipping God and then this guy rolls in. Yep, Satan is the ultimate party crasher. And I love God so much because when Satan shows up, God already wants to know where Satan’s been even though He already knew the answer.
“Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and from on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’” – Job 1:7-8
God’s response to Satan got me thinking. If Satan had shown up today and told God what he’d been up to, could God use me as an example? Where Job’s name is, could I put mine? Stay with me:
Amanda – a blameless and upright woman, who fears God and turns away from evil. Welll…if I’m being honest, I don’t think I could sub my name in there in regards to all of those attributes. I fear God but I think reality would be more like:
Amanda – a woman who tries to be blameless and upright, who fears God and mostly turns away from evil but it would be helpful if she could control her tongue! What does yours looks like?
So anyways, Satan crashes the party, God points to Job as an example and Satan gets God’s permission to test Job. The first thing Satan does is cause the death of all of Job’s children and the destruction of his property. I have to be honest – that really sucks! Job hadn’t done anything wrong and neither had his family but in hours, the people he loved were gone and his property destroyed. The world came crashing down on Job. I try to thank God and praise Him through the trials but all of this out of nowhere, I don’t know how’d I respond but Job gives us an example:
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21
I agree that everything comes from God but to bless Him in spite of everything? I can see why God thought so highly of him. A second time, God called the sons of God to present themselves to Him, and once again, Satan rolled in to crash the party. Yet again, Job’s name is mentioned and Satan says Job would curse God, if his health was taken away, so God gave Satan permission to do what he wanted, as long as Job didn’t die. Satan afflicted Job with terrible sores all over his body. Job’s loving wife told Job that he should curse God so he could die and be out of his misery but Job defended God.
“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” – Job 2:10
At the time, the people believed that those who did good were rewarded and blessed with children, property, livestock and great wealth, whereas those who did wrong were punished (sounds a bit like the prosperity gospel to me). The book continues with Job and his friends discussing his circumstances and trying to convince Job to repent. Eventually God responds to Job and corrects him on his arguments and viewpoint. What can we learn from Job?
No matter what you’re going through, whether it be a season of joy or a season of party crashers, God knows what He is doing. He loves you and wants what’s best for you. Be like Job and stand firm in your faith even when you don’t understand what’s going on. I pray that this offers you encouragement and hope in whatever you’re going through ❤ Comment below and let us know what you think!