Much has been said and even speculated about the book of Job. Some Christians sweep the complexities under the rug with statements like, “Job is the question, and Jesus is the answer.” Others who are bothered by the sovereignty of God point to Job, saying, “the thing I feared the most has come upon me,” as proof that fear was an open door and the reason behind Job’s misfortune. The problem is, the text doesn’t say that. The first two chapters make it clear that the test was God’s idea and that God set parameters around what the enemy could do. Most scholars tend to agree that the story in Job spanned only nine months of his life. Job’s life is an example of true faith in God and the favor of God.
Some in the church today misunderstand blessing to mean the absence of a trial; some imply that prosperity means no problems, or that at the very least, they are always resolved quickly. The truth is that you can’t have triumphed without trial, prosperity doesn’t come without problems, and there is still hope when healing doesn’t come in the way we want it.
Job 1:6-12 TLV “One day the sons of God came to present themselves before Adonai, and the satan also came with them. 7 Adonai said to the satan, “Where have you come from?” The satan responded to Adonai and said, “From roaming the earth and from walking on it.” 8 Adonai said to the satan, “Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth—a blameless and upright man, who fears God and spurns evil.” 9 Then the satan responded to Adonai, saying, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not made a hedge around him, his household, and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will certainly curse You to Your face!” 12 Then Adonai said to the satan, “Everything he has is in your hand. Only do not extend your hand against him!” So the satan departed from the presence of Adonai.”
It is clear from the beginning that the test was God’s idea. Imagine God having enough confidence in your trust in Him that He would allow you to be tested on the same level as Job. I think we have missed a massive part of the story; God trusted Job as much as Job trusted God. God put a fence around what the devil could do in Job’s life at every different test. Different tests may seem unbearable at the time, but when we look back on things, we can often see the hand of God in ways we weren’t able to in the middle of the situation.
Job 1:12 TLV “Everything he has is in your hand. Only do not extend your hand against him.”
Job 2:6b TLV “Very well, he is in your hand-only spare his life!”
The story of Job goes on with discussions with his friends, Job’s responses, and ultimately God asking Job questions. The book ends with everything being restored to Job seven times. We don’t have a biblical record of what the rest of Job’s life was like after that series of trials, but one thing is sure, Job proved himself faithful to God. In Job 1:22 and 2:10, we are told that Job did not sin with his lips. Amid significant life crises, Job trusted God. The blessing and favor of God do not come with a guaranteed easy road; that does not mean that God isn’t paving the road.
Look at the life of Joseph; he saved Egypt and, more importantly, the Hebrew people from a terrible famine but look at the road that brought him to the place he needed to be. He was sold into slavery, accused of misconduct, thrown in prison, and forgotten about, but ultimately all of that led him to his divine purpose.
James 1:2-5 TLV “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all without hesitation and without reproach; and it will be given to him.”
Whether we face a trial or a temptation, we need to keep in mind that everything will work out for God’s purpose in our lives.
Look at First Corinthians 10:13 in the Amplified Classic Bible, “For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”
God’s got us in every situation. No matter what you are facing, there is another side to it, there is triumph on the other side of a trial, and there is a breakthrough on the other side of a breakdown. I’m not throwing slogans at you; the blessing of God is a biblical fact; our problem is sometimes we become so blessing-focused that we forget the God of the blessing during our trial.
Be encouraged today. You may be in the middle of a trial, you may be facing a temptation, but the God of blessing, the God of breakthrough, is with you in the valley. It would have been easy for Job to follow his wife’s advice and curse God and die. Job could have looked at circumstances, but he chose to keep his eyes fixed on God. God didn’t look good in the circumstances, but Job knew God was good. Think about this, what if the testing of Job was purposed to fortify his faith to be able to handle the blessing God was going to release in chapter forty-two? God is God. He’s God in the valley and God on the mountain top. If He’s going to trust us with blessing, He’s got to be able to trust us in a trial.
Hebrews 12:1-13 TLV “Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and lose heart. 4 In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed. 5 Have you forgotten the warning addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not take lightly the discipline of Adonai or lose heart when you are corrected by Him,6 because Adonai disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He accepts.” 7 It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons—for what son does a father not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline—something all have come to share—then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Besides, we are used to having human fathers as instructors—and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 Indeed, for a short time they disciplined us as seemed best to them; but He does so for our benefit, so that we may share in His holiness. 11 Now all discipline seems painful at the moment—not joyful. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble! 13 And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame will not be pulled out of joint but rather be healed.”