The Trial And The Blessing

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, that 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 of 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 LSB “Now it was the day that the sons of God came to stand before Yahweh, and Satan also came among them.7 And Yahweh said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered Yahweh and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”8 Then Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you set your heart upon My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”9 And Satan answered Yahweh and said, “Does Job fear God without cause?10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.11 But send forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”12 Then Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand, only do not send forth your hand toward him.” So Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh.”

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 LSB “Behold, all that he has is in your hand, only do not send forth your hand toward him.”

Job 2:6 LSB “Behold, 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, forgotten about, but ultimately all of that led him to his divine purpose.

James 1:2-5 LSB “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,3 knowing that the testing of your faith brings about perseverance.4 And let perseverance 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 generously 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 the 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 LSB “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary, fainting in heart. 4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He flogs every son whom He receives.”7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our benefit, so that we may share His holiness.11 And all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, but to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.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 may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

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