• P. Frank

Be Like Job

If you are not familiar with the Bible story of Job, it is a faith-filled, intriguing, and inspiring one. If you have some spare reading time, I strongly suggest that you sit down and read the Book of Job. It seems like a lot to read with forty-two chapters, but it reads quickly because it is one of the most awe-inspiring stories in the Bible. Job was a righteous and wealthy man. “[Job] was blameless and upright, [a man] who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1). Job found such favor in God’s eyes that God bragged to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth?” (Job 1:8).

Satan accused God of giving Job and his family everything including protection, without hardship, so that of course Job would praise God. Satan challenged God saying, “Stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” (Job 1:11). God did not take Satan’s bait, but replied, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch our your hand.” (Job 1:12). At first glance, it seems that God was recklessly gambling, giving Satan dominion over all kinds of calamity he would rain down on Job and his family. However, as you read, you will discover that God was always in control.

The Book of Job can be summarized into four main lessons:

1. Bad things can happen to good people. God knew that His faithful servant, Job, would never curse Him, no matter what Satan threw at him. Job lost EVERYTHING and his entire life unraveled before his eyes, yet he still praised the Lord. Even as we suffer, we must never lose hope. We should give thanks to God for our lives, even if they are unraveling. Job shows us an example of his undying faith in God when he says, “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15). Not even the devil himself can take away the joy and peace found in God. So, never lose your hope in God!

2. When we are going through misery, our family and friends may fall away and fail us, but God will never forsake us. When Job’s closest friends tempted him to curse God, Job told them that they were “miserable comforters.” (Job 16:2). Job declared: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25–27). Jesus, our Redeemer, had not yet been born, yet Job had faith that He was the only true Redeemer of the world.

3. Even if God is silent, He is still with us. Job struggled with God’s silence, asking “why” more than a couple dozen times. Job grasped for the reasons God remained silent while he suffered. However, even in God’s silence, Job remained faithful to God. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.” (Job 23:10–12). Fearing God produces wisdom and allows us to turn from evil temptations. Our pride makes us follow our own ways while humility allows us to follow the Lord’s path. “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28).

4. Sometimes, in the midst of our suffering, even the most faithful person sins. But even after we sin, God accepts our humble repentance. His acceptance and forgiveness will then turn into additional blessings. Job surrendered to God and repented. “I despise myself, and repent in the dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6). Job’s friends failed to be supportive of Job and gave him bad advice based on their misunderstandings of God. This caused God to turn His wrath onto Job’s friends. “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” (Job 42:7). However, even in the midst of his suffering, Job made a burnt offering to God on his friends’ behalf and prayed for them. God accepted Job’s prayer and spared them. Even while we are in misery, we should pray that God blesses others around us.

“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” (Job 42:10, 12). God is with us, even in the midst of our misery and He is always in control. God is the mighty Creator of the universe and we can trust Him fully, even with our lives. All He wants is for us to worship Him and believe in Him. Note that it was Job’s selfless prayer for his friends that released God’s blessings into his life.

When we are overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of this world, remember to trust in God. Open a Bible and dive headlong into His Word. God’s Word is where you will learn more and more about His love for us all. God rewarded Job for his faithfulness and for turning away from Satan and his evil temptations. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). Remain faithful to God, like Job did, and He will surely bless your life too: temporarily – perhaps, eternally – certainly.