The Story Of Job
I never really read the story of Job in depth or tried to understand the story before, until now. Quite frankly, Job is usually seen as a sad book of the bible. Many people don’t read it because they don’t really understand the whole story. Let me give you some of his back story. Job was a man of integrity and was seen right in the eyes of God. He had 7 sons, three daughters, and servants, and possessions. He was one of the most powerful of men in his area that he lived.
Job’s story of trouble really starts as the enemy, Satan, comes to God and tells him that he has been patrolling the earth and seeing all that’s happening. I’m going to stop right there. So not only does God see what happens in our lives, but so does Satan. Sometimes we forget that he sees the hard things we go through and it gives him ideas for how to make us fall and reject God. Satan’s idea was just that for Job. Satan believed that if he took away everything Job had, that he would not have faith in God any longer. God knew what would happen, so he let Satan do what he had said. Sure enough, if you read Job chapters 1 &2, you will see all that the enemy took away. The things that happened to Job were horribly horrific. Yet, Job still remained faithful to God. God knew he would, which is why he let those tests happen.
In Job 1:20-22 it says, “Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, I came naked from my mother’s womb and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord! In all this, Job did not sin by blaming God.”
Now Satan came a second time to try and prove his point again. He did not give up. He wanted to bring physical sickness upon Job, for he thought that he would then curse God. God again allowed it to happen.
In Job 2:4-5 “Satan replied to the Lord, skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But reach out and take his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
Satan was unrelenting because he thought he was right, but God already had the victory. As sickness came upon Job in the form of boils and more, his wife (who was the only thing left) told him to give up and curse God. But in verse 10 he replied to his wife: “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. We have to claim the victory just like Job did.
Satan thought Job was only remaining faithful because of all the blessings God had given him. He thought for sure that if it was all taken away, that he would turn his back on God. Satan’s strategy is just that. He wants us to doubt and question God in that moment of suffering or weakness. What about your faith during those circumstances? If we always knew why we suffered, our faith would have no room to grow.
Because God is with us, we can put our faith in him and know he has already conquered the things that control our mind (fear, anxiety, depression, stress, anxiousness, etc).
Job 5:21-22 “ You will be safe from the slander and have no fear when destruction comes. You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you.”
God has a greater plan for us, like Job, our tendency is to want to give up and get out of the situation when it’s rough. Don’t we all feel like that at some point in our lives, or many times? We think at times; “if I can just get through this, then I’ll be fine”, or “once the pain is over, I’ll be able to move on”.
The fact is we can either just get through things, or we can grow from them. To trust God in the good times is commendable, but to trust him in the difficult times tests us to our limits and exercises our faith. Job was not guilty like his friends were claiming him to be. If you read onto the next chapters, you will see that his friends were trying to help, but really didn’t. They thought that only bad things happen to people who sin or from their family’s sins. This was not Job’s case at all. Job was blameless even though he had to learn to change his attitude toward God through suffering. Job brought his complaints to God, and that’s what we need to do as well. Express your emotions openly to God in prayer. Life’s trials allowed by God, can be the means of development and refinement. Job had some refinement in his attitude towards the end of the book. He trusted God but he wanted to know why things happened and he complained. One of the hardest things we can do is ask, “ how can I learn to grow from this?”
Now there are times, when your life is in danger and it would not make sense to ask those questions! I am pertaining to emotional burdens, heartaches, losses, and etc. God does not bring horrible things into our lives, but sometimes he allows them if it’s a point for us to grow or be tested. Our world tries to run on cause and effect, but there are times where some causes cannot be found and some causes that don’t lead to expected effects. Our age of “instant” everything has caused us to lose the ability to “wait”. We expect to learn patience instantly, and in our hurry, we miss the contradictions or lessons.
We want relief from pain but are we will to trust God? Job was not expecting instant answers for the intense emotional and physical pain he endured. In the end, what broke his patience was not the suffering, but not knowing why he had suffered. When God finally spoke to Job, he didn’t offer an answer.
Instead he drove home the point that it is better to know God than to know answers.
Wow. That’s hard to swallow. When you just go through something, you want to know why. You forget about growing closer to God, even though that’s what he wants the most. Sometimes we suffer from our sins or consequences, sometimes from family, sometimes it’s shaping us for special service to others, sometimes it’s a spiritual attack from Satan on our lives. Yet other times, we really don’t know why. It’s at those times, are we willing to trust God in spite of our unanswered questions?
At the end of the book in chapter 42 of Job, he ends up being blessed with twice as much as what he had before. God restores his life and journey. Jesus said in Luke 18:29-30, “anyone who gives up something for God’s kingdom will be repaid. It may not always be in this life, but it will happen. God loves us and he is just.
If you can trust God in the pain, confusion, and loneliness, you will win the victory and eliminate doubt, ones of Satan’s greatest footholds on your life. I don’t know what you have gone through, or maybe are currently going through, but know first that you are not alone and know that God has been there. He has suffered the greatest pain and can relate to us all. It may sound easy to say that, but I have experienced it in my own life. We obviously don’t plan our lives, waiting for something bad to happen. It’s life, and this world isn’t perfect. There will always be suffering on the earth. Don’t loose heart, for God has overcome it. There will be a day, when suffering in any form, will be no more.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
God will work good out your situation just like he did for Job. It won’t be in the way that we think or plan, but it will be in his good and perfect way. Remember pain is not always punishment; don’t have the outlook that God is out to get you. He isn’t and he wants to help you if you just let him. I‘ve had hard times as well and I know there will be more as life goes on. Knowing God is always with us and that he is one prayer away, is always comforting. I hope you can find encouragement in this and have a ray of hope as you put your faith in God in whatever situation you are in. I hope to share my personal journey soon.