Job 2:10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
This is the fundamental question of the book of Job. Indeed, it is one of the fundamental questions of human existence. We tend to demand to be pampered, not realizing the accuracy of the English expression of “spoiling” a child. Someone who is spoiled indeed turns out rotten! I think this also speaks to why God allows Satan to exist: if we had no adversary, we wouldn’t grow. Jesus famously spoke to this issue: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We want a life with no hiccups, but if we had it we wouldn’t be worth much at the end of it. It all comes down to faith and trust. If we trust God to be as He says He is, faithful and loving and patient and all of that, then we will approach every part of life, even the rough spots, with joyful anticipation of what God is going to do in and through us in the process. The more we focus on God, the less power this world will have on us to pull us down, regardless of what we are experiencing physically. We need a sense of purpose. If we have that, almost anything is bearable. A major study was done over what physical conditions contributed to people catching a cold. It included things like being wet, being in drafty rooms, and all sorts of things that are traditionally associated with catching a cold. Not one of the test subjects caught a cold! The fact that they were participating in a genuine scientific study gave them such a sense of purpose that it boosted their immune systems and kept them perfectly healthy! If we would only believe that God always has a good, loving purpose for everything He allows in our lives, we would suffer far less. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t go through things, but rather that our response to them wouldn’t seem so much like suffering.
I have seen this in others and I have experienced it myself. The more I bemoan whatever I’m going through, the harder it is to bear. The more I look beyond the immediate circumstances to whatever God intends to do through them, the more I have peace and joy. It doesn’t necessarily change the trial (though it may shorten it) but it certainly does make it easier to get through to the other side. I try to share this truth with others, but often am met with anger and resentment that “I’m taking their suffering lightly.” On the contrary, I’m trying to reduce their suffering! The Biblical instructions to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) seem impractical if not impossible, but when by the grace of God we are able to obey them in faith, the blessings are incredible.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You’ve allowed us to go through, particularly over the past year, but really over our whole lives. Thank You for the points of joy in the day yesterday, for the encouraging dream You gave Cathy in the night, and for the healing she experienced overnight. Help us continue to walk in faith and trust at all times. The road ahead is still long, but You are still faithful, and that is enough. Thank You. Praise God!