Building faith through suffering

www.biblestudytools.com

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God let people suffer? Those are questions that get asked all the time. Many people I’ve come across seem use these questions to justify their choice to not believe in God or to serve him. The fact is, bad things happen to bad people too, and, God doesn’t let people suffer.

Blaming God isn’t going to guilt him in to stopping bad things from happening to people. It isn’t going to persuade him to end everyone’s suffering either. That line of thinking runs counter to all God has done for us. It was God who gave his only son to lay down his life so that we can have everlasting life by believing in him.

However, God will test our faith from time to time. Why? Because it’s easy to have faith when times are great. How strong is our faith though when our lives seem to be tailspinning out of control? That’s the whole point of why he will test us. Just ask Job. If anyone deserves to have their poster hanging up on the walls of millions of people it is Job.

The trials of Job

God had as much faith in Job as Job had in God, and knew Job would never turn his back on him. So much so that he let Satan have his way with him, with one exception, Satan couldn’t take his life.

Job 1 : 8 – 12

8. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil.

9. Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10. Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to thy face.

12. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.

Soon after, in the course of one day, Job received messages that his animals, servants, and his children were all lost to thieves and natural disasters. Job was deeply distraught. He ripped his clothes, shaved his head, then fell to his knees to pray and worship God.

If I got a call at work informing me that I just lost everything I own and my children as well, I definitely wouldn’t blame God. I’m not sure I would be so quick to get on my knees to pray and worship him either. I wish I could say I would, but I honestly don’t know how i would react other than being totally devastated.

I would never want to be Job, or suffer what he went through. I do hope though that one day God will look at me and have the same belief in my faith that he had in Job’s.

What Job went through, losing everything including his children, was beyond tragic, but it wasn’t over. Satan came back to God a second time.

Job 2 : 3 – 8

3. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil: and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

4. And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

5. But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.

6. And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life.

7. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

Now Job had been struck with boils from head to toe. His wife urged him to denounce God and give up and die. Three of his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, arrived to supposedly provide comfort and console. Instead they try to tell Job he must have sinned enough to bring God’s wrath upon him.

Like anyone else that’s suffered a devastating loss, Job was angry. He damned the day he was born. He also knew he never sinned and didn’t deserve what was visited upon him. Ultimately though Job never lost his faith or gave up on God.

God was as faithful to Job as Job was to God. He restored Job’s health, rewarded him with twice as much property as before, new children, and a long, full life. God is faithful to all who are faithful to him, from the newest to be born-again to those who are nearing eternal life.

We’re all going to experience adversity in our walk with God. The further we get away from Satan the more he’s going to try to knock us down and attack our faith. Getting through that adversity is how we build our faith. Remember, Even though God let Satan go after Job, he was still in control by limiting what Satan could do to him. God’s still in control. He will never let you go suffer more than you can handle. Put your faith in that as well.

Photo of Job from http://www.biblestudytools.com

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