We’re all familiar with the story of Job; how God partially removed His hand of protection in order that satan could wreak havoc on his life. As a result Job loses almost everything: his wealth, his health, his livelihood, and his entire family, except of course for his wife (satan can be so cruel sometimes).
Behind all of Job’s misery we will get a foretaste of God’s purpose; beyond the misery we catch a glimpse of God’s blessing. The awesome reality is that every bit of the suffering, whether it is in Job’s life or our own, will make perfect sense when we get to Heaven.
And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” Revelation 16:7
Apparently Job understood the doctrine. All the garbage that comes our way serves a much greater and divine purpose. Understandably that purpose might not make any sense at all now, but when we see Jesus face-to-face, we will all proclaim, “Righteous and true are Your ways!” Therein lies our hope!
In the Meantime
In the meantime how should we handle adversity? How should we respond to the news we have lost our job, we have cancer, or a loved one has died tragically? Consider what Job did:
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. Job 1:20
Job was sorrowful, but in his sorrow he worshipped the Lord. In so doing Job blessed the Lord and was given the opportunity (by example) to be a great witness for the Lord. However, as the text picks up in chapter two, we see that satan is at it again—Job is afflicted with boils all over his body. What Job did next silenced satan for the remaining forty chapters of the book.
In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:10
Not only didn’t Job curse God (or anyone else for that matter) he didn’t complain about his situation—he kept his mouth shut. That gives me great pause. Is that my testimony? When someone wrongs me or if things are not going my way, do I lash out at whoever I believe is responsible or do I remain silent? More importantly, which reaction is pleasing to God? Which one has the potential to silence satan?
Do all things without complaining and disputing… Philippians 2:14
I’m tempted to say that everyone complains; it is our nature, but that’s only half the truth—complaining isn’t our nature, it’s our sin-nature; when we complain we are in sin. I admit that complaining has a certain degree of satisfaction associated with it, but knowing that satan is silenced when I keep my silence is much more satisfying. Wouldn’t you agree?