“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” —Job 23:10
Most of us will agree life is not fair. The sun seems to shine on some people all the time while others experience mostly thunder and rain. We cannot explain these things, but we only have to look at the life of Job to know that suffering happens.
There are unanswerable questions in the story of Job regarding the role of Satan, and the extent to which Satan is permitted to work against us. We have just enough insight to know that Satan needs permission to attack, and God gives it, but sets the boundaries. Whether or not Satan asks God if he can put us through the “job process,” we do not know, but I know of no grounds in Scripture that says we are exempt. The spiritual realm is a source of blessing, but also a source of battle. However, in the battle God is producing gold.
Job is described as a blameless, upright man, the greatest man among all the people of the east. He feared God and shunned evil. Satan wants to knock him down, turn him against God, but God could trust Job to suffer. In these attacks, Job loses his ten children, his servants, his livelihood and his health. Even his wife and friends turn against him certain he had committed sin against God. But through it all, Job clung to God and worshipped Him.
We can all be fair-weather Christians, praising God in the good times, but when the storms roll in and disaster strikes we see what our hearts are really like. Do we become angry and bitter, perhaps even blaming God, or do we weather the storm with God as our shield? In the midst of great devastation, Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:5). It is a wonderful testimony to our faith when God is worshipped and trusted in a way that is not conditional upon us receiving good things.
God does some of His best work in the darkest times of our lives. In the end, Job said, “My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you“ (Job 42:5). Job has personally experienced God, and hears firsthand the immeasurable power and wisdom of God. Chapters 38 to 42 of Job contain incredible dialogue of God speaking to Job from out of the storm, and it leaves him awestruck and immensely humbled. God blesses him with ten more children and twice the wealth he had before. Sometimes our faith in suffering is all we have, and when we cling to God, trusting Him to know where we are, He brings us forth like gold!