In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job’s Second Test
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “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. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Here is the question, we all want to ask God about the story of Job:
Well, I didn’t hear any of you screaming this like me so maybe I am the only one who has ever wondered why God did what He did. God Himself says that Job is blameless and upright. Job fears God and shuns evil. Well…then why mess with him? If Job is doing all that He is supposed to be doing, it only makes sense that the Lord would protect Job. It seems that God should have rewarded Job’s righteousness with armies of angels to keep any harm from coming near him. We all want to believe that if we live the way God calls us to live, obeying Him and shunning evil, that He will manifest great blessings and powerful protection all around us. The story of Job, though, blows this theory out of the water. It was God who drew Satan’s attention to Job. Surely I am not the only person who has wondered why?
I think we have all been in that place where we have finally gotten ourselves where we need to be spiritually, doing all the right things with the right attitude, then BAM! Here comes the Devil walking into our house, our family, our business as if we have no defense at all. Probably none of us have experienced what Job did, but I know some people who have gotten close. And the question that Job’s asks his wife must be addressed to us, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Oh yeah! My fingers almost sat up on the keyboard refusing to write that question. They don’t like the idea that we should accept trouble from God any more than I do and frankly, my fingers are quite opinionated. Nevertheless, the implication from Job is that we must accept trouble as willingly as we accept good, but why?
If I can be honest with you about my own life, I can tell you that my need for God is much more prominent in my spirit during trouble. I think most people have increased times of prayer during trouble. What would happen if we never experienced trouble? Would we pray?
Also, everything that we receive from the Lord, we receive by faith. To receive more, our faith must increase. And how can my faith in God increase if nothing challenges my current level of faith. The Lord must continually push us to the edge of our own ability to overcome in order that we turn to Him more than we have in the past. This is the process of growing our faith. There is no other way.
Finally, we must accept trouble from the Lord because the combination of our trouble and faith reveals the power of God. When others around us see the troubles we face, experience the faith we profess, then see the deliverance of the Lord, it is hard for them to deny Him or His power. If they never see us struggle, they would never hear our faith, nor see His goodness. This is the Lord’s plan to reach the world. How can a prisoner find faith if there are no Christians in jail? How can a rape victim understand the healing power of God unless a Christian is raped and experiences His healing touch to share with other victims?
Without this process, it is easy for the world to chalk everything up to coincidence believing that some people are lucky and some are not; believing that some people are stronger while others are weaker. Trouble in the lives of believers is the lighthouse shining into the darkness that others will be saved. “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”
What is your attitude in trouble? Can God be glorified through that attitude?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.