Have you ever been coasting along comfortably in life with everything going fairly well, then, without warning, things began to crumble? For months, perhaps years, you had been relatively peaceful, stable, and happy. You were experiencing no major trouble or hardship. When the normal difficulties of everyday life arose, they were easily worked out. Whatever life threw at you was manageable and under control. But then, suddenly, something happened. Some tragedy struck so quickly and unexpectedly that things seemed to come crashing down around you. For years you had been working hard to build a good life for yourself and family, but then, without warning, your good life was threatened, interrupted, and perhaps damaged beyond repair. Think for a minute about these scenarios:
⇒ A good relationship suddenly deteriorates and falls apart.
⇒ A child starts acting up or gets into serious trouble.
⇒ Unexpected bills arise or an investment goes bad.
⇒ You lose your job, home, or a beloved family member.
⇒ You are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
In other words, tragedy strikes and you feel attacked by fate, bad fortune, Satan, or even the Lord. You believe you are doing everything right but, in return, your life begins to unravel around you. On top of that, nothing you do seems to change or improve the situation. Hopelessness sets in and there appears to be no way out of your desperate situation.
This was the position Job found himself in. Job had a good life, in fact, a very successful, satisfying, and happy life. He was a moral and righteous man who loved the Lord with all his heart. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, one tragedy after another bombarded him. Before Job could comprehend what was happening, it was all over. He had lost everything. His ideal life was interrupted by Satanic attacks and horrible suffering.
This is the captivating drama of the book of Job, the real-life story of a godly man under assault by the evil one, Satan himself.
As we read the book of Job, we have information that the characters of the story do not. Job, the main character of the book, lost all he had through no fault of his own. As he struggled to understand why all this was happening to him, it became clear that he was not meant to know the reasons. He would have to face life with the answers and explanations held back. Only then would his faith fully develop.
We must experience life as Job did—one day at a time and without complete answers to all of life’s questions. Will we, like Job, trust God no matter what? Or will we give in to the temptation to say that God doesn’t really care?
As we see calamity and suffering in the book of Job, we must remember that we live in a fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad behavior is not always punished. When we see a notorious criminal prospering or an innocent child in pain, we say, “That’s wrong.” And it is. Sin has twisted justice and made our world unpredictable and ugly.
The book of Job shows a good man suffering for no apparent fault of his own. Sadly, our world is like that. But Job’s story does not end in despair. Through Job’s life we can see that faith in God is justified even when our situations look hopeless. Faith based on rewards or prosperity is hollow. To be unshakable, faith must be built on the confidence that God’s ultimate purpose will come to pass.
I hope you can join us this Sunday or in the upcoming blog posts for the challenging but life applicable truths found in the life and book of Job.
Sources: Life Application Study Bible.
Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary – The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible – Job.