Many of us love a good rags-to-riches story, about how a guy or gal works hard and goes from poverty to great wealth. But the story of Job is the exact opposite: he goes from riches to rags. What unnerves us about his story is that he was a good guy, a righteous man, yet the bottom dropped out of his life: he lost his wealth, his health, and his ten kids.

Job's story should put an end to the inaccurate notion that morally upright people don't suffer. Job was a man of integrity, yet he suffered greatly. And if Job was vulnerable, then surely we are. None of us have any guarantee that because we've committed our life to Christ, we have immunity from hardships. Yes, there will be seasons of blessing, but your relationship with God does not mean you'll have an easy life.

Yet in the midst of Job's hardships, he made several incredible statements of mature faith. In chapter 1, we read that he "arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (vv. 20-22). Job grieved, but then he worshiped. He didn't allow his pain to move him away from God, but toward Him.

In chapter 13, Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (v. 15). In other words, "I'm going to follow God whether He strokes me with blessings or strikes me with pain. Even if it costs me my life, I'm still going to trust Him."

In chapter 23, Job lamented about how he couldn't see God in what he was going through, then said, "But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (v. 10). God is not always apparent, but He's always aware; He knows where you are and what you're up to. There's great comfort in that. What is hidden from you is not hidden from God.

Now, in the end, "the Lord restored Job's losses" (Job 42:10). But here's the lesson to take away from Job's life: never let what you don't understand about God and His ways rob you of what you do understand. And here's what you need to understand: suffering in the hands of a loving God can bring about great good. There's fruit from it. Your faith is deepened through it. And God has His eye on you and His hand on the thermostat in all of it. He's not going to leave you cooking in the oven and walk away (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

May we rest in the fact that what is hidden from us is not hidden from Him. What's more, He has our best interests at heart. And what's more, as Romans 8:28 tells us, He causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Skip's signature