“The LORD said, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” —Job 1:8
It’s true there are some church folks that would boast of being so highly recommended by God…they thrive on accolades, honorable mention and praise. Really now? Who in their right mind would like to be handed over to the adversary so God could prove a point—put you on display for all to see, or make an example of you for generations? Yet this is basically what God did to Job—granted Satan permission to wreak havoc in Job’s life. However, before I go any further, God knew the outcome, and did not give Satan full control (2:6).
Job’s ordeal was an extreme test of faith. The best man on earth (according to God Himself) suffered the worst calamity. Sooner or later we all find ourselves in a position “somewhat” like Job’s. Our world seems to crumble. Nothing makes sense any more. I admit I’ve gone through some stuff in life; God seemed distant and silent. During these times of great crises, we are put on trial.
The book of Job records every step in the trial process with unflinching honesty. Job’s life stands as an example to every person who must go through great suffering. But, God is faithful, and you will receive double for your trouble.
In my study of Job’s account, I also learned that, like Job, we have a tendency to believe that we shouldn’t go through anything simply because we’re God’s servants, living a Christian lifestyle, doing all the right things, and that we have a right to complain (3:20-26). Consequently, when troubles come our way, first we express despair. In our despair we wish we were never born.
Secondly, like Job, we are apt to defend ourselves against the opinions and often misguided counsel of others. We feel we don’t deserve to suffer…or the trials and troubles we’re experiencing are incompatible based on our good service rendered. Our emotional state becomes so unstable that we feel we must continue to defend our cause, and we even get an attitude. We feel that God has betrayed us, and even the people that we considered our friends. What makes the situation more frustrating is when family and friends are convinced that we are guilty of “something” and that God is punishing us.
Finally, someone like Elihu comes on the scene to put things in proper perspective—I call it God’s perspective. Elihu recognizes Job’s arrogance and bitterness. Elihu has no agenda other than to speak the truth from God’s perspective. He basically tells Job that God is sovereign—He does not answer to you, or anyone else. He is God! He is a just God; He is a great God…consider nature. No one can force God’s hand, or tell Him what to do. Elihu challenges Job’s thinking, to change his attitude and be patient (36:16-21). This is also noteworthy: Elihu asserts that God uses suffering for good (36:1-15). Last bit of advice Elihu gives Job is to stand in awe of God and show Him reverence.
Sometimes, we have to be reminded. The blessings that God bestows upon us are not an entitlement. We must be careful to always remember that no matter what God allows to happen in our lives, He will always work it for our good, and for His purpose. Yes, Job complained; he questioned God’s sovereignty in view of his own uprightness and integrity. But when the LORD confronted Job with questions about His sovereignty, it humbled Job. It opened Job’s eyes. Job put things in proper perspective—repented and confessed that he knew nothing, and was insignificant in comparison to God’s wisdom and power. After Job recognized his proper position and got things in proper perspective, God restored his fortunes, and gave him twice as much as he had before.
So if you feel that God has extended an invitation to Satan to consider you as a “Hands-On Faith Project”, rest assured that God is sovereign. He’s all-knowing; all-powerful. He knows what He’s doing and there’s a reason for it. And there will be a reward as well, if you let Him be God, trust Him and view your situation from His perspective. After all, He makes the recommendation for His “hands-on faith project.”
- Finding God in the Darkness (pilgrimwanderings.wordpress.com)
- Faith In The Midst Of Suffering (rhodescity.wordpress.com)