Do you know the story of Job? The Bible describes Job as a man who was wealthy, upright, feared God, and turned away from evil. You and I live in a sin-stricken world, but Job’s situation was beyond that. Satan argued that Job was only good because God had blessed him abundantly. God, wanting to prove Satan wrong, allowed him to torment Job.
Job went from being wealthy and healthy, to losing all that he possessed. He lost his children and became ill with skin sores. Talk about a man who experienced all sorts of suffering. He didn’t only suffer heartache but also physical pain. Now, if you have never read the book of Job, I encourage you to do so. There is so much to learn about Job’s life. The book teaches us how to trust God even when life may seem unfair, and how God is big enough to deal with your suffering.
Although I’m not going to discuss Job’s whole story, there is a verse that stands out. It says, “He knelt on the ground then worshiped God…and said ‘The Lord alone gives and takes. Praise the name of the Lord!'”
Two things come to mind when I think of Job. One is how precious the truth of God’s sovereignty is. God’s sovereignty is not some academic exercise. Believe what God reveals in His Word about His absolute sovereignty. When Job says, “The Lord gives and takes away,” that should remind you that when you receive, it comes from God. If you lose something, in whose sovereign plan is this explained? It’s in God’s sovereign plan. Even though God hurts when you’re suffering, it’s still a part of His final plan. He has the ultimate reason. There is purpose even in your pain, and it’s going to be for His glory.
Secondly, Job worshiped in the midst of suffering. Job understood that God is glorified. We are not the center of the picture, God is the center. Job emerges out of his suffering learning things he didn’t know before and demonstrating God’s good work in His life. God rewarded him at the end, and while this didn’t in any way dampen or take away the sorrow that he felt, there was a purpose.
You are going to go through hard times. Remain submitted to God through the trial and learn everything He wants to form in your life through those difficult things. The most unwise thing you can do during your suffering is isolate yourself from the church or His Word. This is when you will most need to be encouraged and reminded of His truth.