We can proclaim to be Believers or even True Worshippers when things are well with our finances, health, and relationships. But, what happens when calamity surrounds us? For example, we experience a job loss and our 401K retirement plans are exhausted due to a stock market crash. Suddenly, our spouses become estranged not lending support whether financial or emotional. Illness attacks our bodies leaving us in debilitated state unable to pursue other employment opportunities. Hurricane winds rip through our towns and destroys our properties with our children inside. Now, imagine all of these things happening at once. Can God depend on us to be faithful?
The Book of Job provides a recount of an upright man in the land of Uz named Job. A man who seemingly had everything and who devoutly worshipped God. Yet, tragedies would strike him on all fronts. Job lost his wealth, children, property, spouse, and his health. He did not respond in anger. He accepted what God allowed and offered praise. This is not to say that Job was not perplexed or did not bear a spirit of heaviness. Job desperately desired to hear from God. Not to question God’s sovereignty but to understand the cause of his troubles.
Job did not understand why he had to endure these hardships. After all, Job was a righteous man that shunned evil. What Job did not know is that God was using him to shut the devil’s mouth. While Satan was seeking whom he could devour, it is apparent that Satan had no authority to torment Job on his own accord. Job 1:10 indicates that God had a “hedge of protection” that surrounded Job and anything directly or indirectly connected to Job. Satan charged that if the “hedge of protection” was removed so that he could have access Job would curse God.
God knew Job well. God took pleasure in Job as his servant. (Psalms 147:10-11; Jeremiah 9:24) God wanted Job to be prosperous. Job was not only wealthy because of material possessions and his family, but because he had an intimate relationship with God. Satan believed that the Job’s piety and relationship with God was superficial and could easily be severed if he had access. God knew Job’s heart and trusted him to stay faithful. Can God depend on us to do the same?
The Book of Job is gives us so much insight to Satan and his stratagems allowing us to identify how to fight a spiritual battle and win. Satan utilized crime, natural disaster, physical illness, deceiving spirits, and the psychological attacks of depression as stratagems to cause Job to curse God. Satan’s objective was to squeeze Job to his breaking point. Job’s strengths were his patience, endurance, and trusting God. Job worshipped God through his suffering, anticipated an audience with God, and expected God to deliver him.
What we must learn from Job is that God is not arbitrary or uncaring about our welfare. Having a relationship with God and knowing Him is better than having all the answers. The trial or tribulations that we may endure are not always a punishment. Standing on God’s promises leads to victory.