“Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” – Job 2:9-10
James 5: 11 says, “…you have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” Job is a man who had it all and lost it all, but somehow managed to hold onto his faith in God.
Before the calamities that ruined his health and prosperity, Job “feared God” (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). Satan knew that Job feared God, but assumed that Job, once his wealth was removed, would curse God (Job 1:10, 11). God allowed Satan to test that supposition. Disaster after disaster destroyed Job’s livestock, his wealth and, yes, his ten children. Job lost everything.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” (Job 1:20). Worshiped? In the days before he lost everything, Job humbled himself before his God and sacrificed. Now, in the face of utter devastation and loss, he worshiped.
This story does not seem fair. Job was certainly not getting from God what we would expect for a blameless and upright man. It would seem logical that faith would suffer in the face of unfairness. But there is nothing in the Bible that suggests Job was complaining about fairness. Instead, he acknowledged that he had nothing that God did not give him, so how could he complain if God took it away. God is and always has been completely loving, completely just, completely holy, and completely merciful. In Job 1:21 Job says, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Blessed? So much for cursing God.
It is highly probable that too much suffering could cause a person to lose all faith in God. We often speak as if our view of God carries the weight of our faith or gives us sufficient reason to lose faith. Yet while the friends spoke of their view of God, Job continually spoke of God’s view of him. Job, even in his lowest moments, never ceased to believe that God was in control and worthy of being praised. What about us? What do we depend on more? Our view of God? Or His of us? Do we put our faith in ourselves or in who God is?
Biblical faith is outward, fixed upon God, due to who He is, what He has done, and His power and control over everything. Hebrews 11.6 famously says, ”And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” At Northstar we believe that God is who He said He is and as a result we trust Him to do everything that He has promised. He is worthy of our faith.
- Is your faith built on if and how God answers our prayers or on who He is?
- How do you think Job had the capacity to worship at a time of disaster?
- Read James 1:2-4: What does James say trials will do? (Test our faith, produce perseverance, help us mature in our faith) Is there any possible good you can see coming out of your trials? How can it improve your faith?
- What steps can you take this week to reflect on who God is rather than what He does?