Job (Testing and Trials)
By Erin Lamb
“Job was 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,” from SparkNotes.
My pastor friend told me last week that going through trials is a compliment, a sign that God trusts you. I thought to myself, “God can You trust me less.” ☺ I can relate to Job. Can you? Maybe we haven’t had the exact same experiences of losing children, a spouse, our health, all our belongings all at the same time. But I am certain that we have all had our faith tested in some way. If we haven’t, then eventually we will. Jesus promised that in the world there would be trouble, but to take heart as He had overcome the world. The brief summary above tells us something about Job. He was not afflicted because he had done evil in the eyes of God. He was afflicted because the enemy wanted to steal his life and prove that Job would turn away from God.
The good things about Job’s life: He was well respected and honored by God. I love that God was boasting about Job in heaven. How great is it that Abba boasts about us? It does not matter if other people boast about you. What matters is what God is saying about you in heaven. To the people around you, even your friends and family, you may appear to be weak, sinful, and a mess. But in the eyes of God, you are more than precious. Job’s friends did not understand. His wife did not understand. But God did! God knows right where you are. He knows what is breaking your heart. He is boasting of your faithfulness in the heaven’s and He will give you double for your trouble. Job received double for what He lost. He did not curse God. Whatever happens to you, don’t lose faith in the goodness of God. You may have to cry it out, scream it out, counsel it out, but don’t lose faith in God. He is cheering for you! He will heal and restore you. He will never leave or forsake you. Dig in deep with Him. One thing I can promise, God is more than faithful.
What We Can Learn From Job:
1. The devil must get permission to do everything he does. He is not all powerful. God would not allow him to take Job’s life. The devil is a created being with limited access to God’s children. He is not more powerful than God and operates on the leash God has him on. Big God; itty bitty devil.
2. God was pleased with Job. So many times when we see people going through hard times we look for the sin in their life and judge them. It isn’t our place to judge. We have no idea what God is doing or what He will do.
3. God will use any attack of the enemy for our ultimate good. I can’t always say that in the middle of a fiery trial, but I always see it in the end. God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. It’s a promise, and God keeps His promises.
4. God knows we are human. We are not strong enough to handle all that life throws at us. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sustains us. If we try in our own human strength, we often fail. God is aware of that. He simply brushes us off and sends us back out! He says, “If you could do it on your own, you wouldn’t need Me.” As humans we will hurt, we will sometimes cry, we may get angry, and we may not understand. God is not intimidated by our weakness. God is attracted to our weakness. God is close to the broken-hearted. So if it hurts you, trust that He is closer to you than you could ever imagine.
5. People may not ever understand. Job didn’t have an earthly advocate. His friends and family were less than supportive. But he did have God. God is the only One who understands 100 percent what is happening to you, even better than you do. He is the only One who can fix it. Don’t run from Him, run to Him.
6. God thinks highly of you. I think so many times we see better than anyone else our failures, faults, and weaknesses. God sees His child. He sees the one He loves and would move heaven and earth for. He sees us through the eyes of love. He knows all there is to know about us, yet still yearns to be the center of our worlds. No one will love us like Him.
7. Intimacy with God takes on deeper meaning in the trials of life. I thank God for the hard times because without them, I would not know the depths of His heart or have deep compassion for the hurting. It’s in those painful moments where you are sure your heart has broken forever and there is no hope, that He steps in and picks you up. He puts the pieces back together again. It is in those moments that you see that no one on this earth could even begin to compare with Him. You learn the rhythm of His heart. You learn the depths of His care. You learn things in the fire with God that no book can teach you and no person can snatch from you. You learn that when you survive what you thought would be the worst thing that could happen to you, that God is more than all powerful. He is a sustainer of life. So hang in there my friends.
God loves you. God is for you. He knows the way that you take. And He promises to be with you every step of the way.
“Abba I ask that for every person going through a fiery trial or who will be faced with a fiery trial that You would pour out Your sustaining power. Fill them from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. Leave no part of their person untouched by Your hand. Do not allow them to faint under the hardships of this world for Your word says, ‘The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to Your glory that will be revealed in us.’ Help us to keep heaven’s perspective. Help us to fix our eyes on You. Heal every wound. Heal every hurt. Heal afflictions, diseases, emotional pain, physical pain, and do what only You can do. I bless each person with a deeper revelation of Your love, Your healing, and Your goodness. May the enemy be put to shame because the greater One lives in us. Thank you for Your love. In Jesus mighty name, Amen. Have a wonderful weekend.”