Authored by Marie Story
Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Uz, there was a guy named Job. Of everyone around, he was definitely one of the best guys you could find. He feared God and avoided evil. He was generous, kind, hardworking—overall, a good, godly man.1
Not only was Job a good guy, he also had a pretty great life. He had money, land, livestock, and servants. He had a wife and ten kids.2 He was strong and healthy. He was a respected figure in the community, and everyone looked up to him. He had friends everywhere. He was really somebody. Everyone knew who Job was.3
Job had a blessed life. And why not? He obeyed God and lived a good life. But wait. Stop and think about this for a second. When is it hardest to trust God? When everything’s going well? Or when it seems like everything has gone completely wrong? The greatest test of our character is how we react when life takes a turn for the worse; and the greatest test of our faith is trusting God when He allows us to go through tough times.
The Devil is, unfortunately, a pretty smart guy. He knew very well that it is hardest to trust when everything is going wrong, and so he presented this case to God:
“Everyone thinks Job’s such a great and godly guy,” Satan said. “Of course he’s good. He’s got everything! Money, land, family, friends, respect. Let me take it all away, and then we’ll see how good he is.”4
God agrees to this little experiment, which seems to really suck for poor Job, as one after the other, he loses his money, his livestock, his house, his children, and finally, even his health.5 Job is left sitting in a pile of ashes, scraping at the boils that cover him from head to toe.6 Finally, his wife, the one person he had left to lean on, tells him, “Quit trying to be such a good guy. Just curse God and die.”7
At this point, people probably thought that Job must have done something really wrong to have such bad luck. He must have been WAY out of God’s will to deserve all those calamities. It’s understandable that Job wondered the same thing. He sat in a pile of ashes trying to figure out what the heck he’d done wrong to deserve such a sour turn of events. Finally, he did what many of us would do in the same situation. He started feeling sorry for himself.8
Fortunately, Job had some good friends who came by as soon as they’d heard what had happened. They found Job in his miserable state, and he started complaining to them right away. “I’m a good guy! Where’s God’s justice? Why’s He treating me this way? This is so unfair!”
When you consider the way Job lived, it almost seems like God was being unfair to him. Sometimes when we’re in the middle of a rough time, that’s all we can see, how “unfair” the whole situation seems. You’ve done your best to do what God asked you to do, you’ve tried to follow His Word, you’ve treated others fairly, and this mess is what you get in return!?
Finally, one of Job’s friends named Elihu got tired of all of his complaining and told him, “God will never do wickedly, and He’ll never treat you unjustly. Everyone has troubles, so quit thinking you should be above them.”9
Elihu also told him, “By means of their suffering [God] rescues those who suffer; for he gets their attention through adversity.”10
Job finally shuts up, and after a good, long talk with God,11 He realizes that no matter how good he tries to be, or how closely he obeys God, he’s never going to know better than God. He realizes that God is a lot bigger and wiser than he is, so he’d better just trust Him.
It’s something to think about when we’re facing troubles of our own. We can react like Job did and get upset that God isn’t treating us right, or we can turn to Him, give Him our attention, and see what He wants us to learn through it.
The fact is, God never promised a perfect, problem-free life. He did, however, promise to help us through whatever problems we may face.12 When we are aware of this, we won’t waste time complaining about our predicaments, and we won’t waste energy trying to pull ourselves out of trouble; instead, we’ll immediately turn to the Lord and find our strength and solutions in Him.
Job finally got the point, and that allowed God to step in and rescue him. When he decided that no matter what, he wasn’t going to quit trusting, then God restored to Job even more than he had lost in the first place.
I’m sure you get the point! Throughout the journey of our lives, there are going to be high points, and there are going to be low points. Trust that God has a good reason for the low points—He has something to teach you through them. And trust that as Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”13
1 Job 1:1.
2 Job 1:2–3.
3 Job 29:7–25.
4 Job 1:7–12; 2:1–7.
5 Job 1:13–19.
6 Job 2:7–8.
7 Job 2:9.
8 Job 3:3–26.
9 Job 34:12.
10 Job 36:15 NLT.
11 Job 38–41.
12 Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 43:2.
13 New Living Translation.
Read by Florence McNair. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright © 2011 by The Family International