“Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.” – Job 2:8-10
Given the inescapable fact that we must not only face trials in this life, one of the most difficult questions in times of trial is the question of “why” and “why me?” Our character is often sorely tested without warning; we are often at a loss to even find words to describe our situation, so we sometimes shrug our shoulders and just say, “stuff happens”. Often the situations with no ready made answers are the very situations where God does some of His best work. This is illustrated beautifully in the life of Job.
If you have spent any time in church you have probably heard the story of Job. Job had trusted God in the good times. Now the scene was set to determine if Job would trust God in bad and ugly situations. He endured loss like no one else we know. His home was destroyed, his children were killed, his health was ruined, his finances were wiped out and his friends offered no support. But after working his way through his questions and struggles, Job eventually resolved to trust God—no matter what. That is when his wife told him to “curse God and die.” But Job accepted what God sent. He had accepted good; now he was accepting the bad and the ugly.
Job’s response is incredible. What amazing, faithful words while Job sits on an ash heap, scraping his painful sores on his body, contemplating the death of his children and loss of his wealth and possessions. What about us?
We must be ready to receive good from God and we must also be ready to receive the not so good. The question is are we going to happily receive God’s blessings and good things that come in life but then turn away from God when those blessings are removed? Are we going to reject God when life does not go according to our plans?
Losing a job is traumatic. Finding out you have cancer is devastating. Having a child stray is overwhelming. Yet I suggest to you today that God has created a built in purpose for each trial He allows in our lives. Even those that seem to hurt so much, even and especially for them. Our life and our circumstances are in God’s hand. He holds all things together, and He fits pieces together, that don’t seem to make sense. He holds us secure, safe, close. God will never allow a trial without any good coming from it, somehow, in some way. There is purpose in trials: God is still in control. He has not forsaken us but wants us to trust Him so we can mature.
God has a purpose in whatever we face, day in, day out, good, bad, great times, and tough trials, in it all.
- Do you have a present trial? How is it affecting you?
- What do you need to change to handle your trial the way God wants you to handle it?
- What will you need to do if you want to accomplish God’s goals for your trial?