Have you ever looked back over your life and realized that God has brought you thorough trials that you didn’t even believe you could get through? I personally believe that each and every one of us has a time or two in our lives like that. Recently, I read the story of Job and it really surprised me what he endured as a believer. If you have never read it, I want to share who he is with you in a short summary. Here is a summary of the book of Job:
Job is a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil (1:1). One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appears before God in heaven. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
Can you imagine having the horror of satan having authority from God to come into your life and cause pain and derision? We believe as children of God that sinners are not blessed because of their disobedience to God, But in Job, there has seemingly been a mistake made. See Job is described as righteous and perfect in His ways. However, even he has been chosen to receive suffering at the hand of satan. Let’s continue the message…
In the course of one day, Job receives four messages, each bearing separate news that his livestock, servants, and ten children have all died due to marauding invaders or natural catastrophes. Job tears his clothes and shaves his head in mourning, but he still blesses God in his prayers.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I would want to do in the event of losing my children would be to bless the Lord. However, in Job’s righteousness, he does it without hesitation. He even went on to quote “Yet though He kills me, yet will I serve Him.” His love for God and loyalty to Him is beyond my own belief. I must say that I love God with all of my heart and I would like to say that I would be like Job in blessing God in spite of all of my troubles, but I must say it is simply not true. There have been many times when much less has happened than the likes of Job in my life, and I was so disappointed in God that I refused to hear others who tried to encourage me in His word. Job was indeed more righteous than I have ever been, yet He faced troubles I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.
Satan appears in heaven again, and God grants him another chance to test Job. This time, Job is afflicted with horrible skin sores. His wife encourages him to curse God and to give up and die, but Job refuses, struggling to accept his circumstances.
The fact that he not only lost all that he had including his 10 children and all of his possessions was more than I could dream of enduring. Now Job was afflicted physically with wounds. Not just any wounds, but the bible states that he had boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. Boils are bumps full of puss (sounds gross but even imagining having them all over your body is something that would make me so sad and full of fear). Nevertheless, he accepted all that God gave him and still refused to curse God. Even with his wife telling him to curse him and die, he told his wife that she sounds foolish and unlike his wife. He was loyal to God beyond reason. How many of us would be able to have that type of faith?
Reading the story of Job is something that will not only help you to be grateful, but it teaches you a great lesson about trials. No matter what you are going through, know that it could be worse, and if you hold on to God’s unchanging hand, He will lead you into a greater future. I implore you to read the story of Job in its entirety. We will continue to look into the story of Job in our next few blogs.