Today’s Scripture: Job 1-2:10, James 1:2-4
Imagine having it all, being it all, and then losing it all—in one day! Within twenty-four hours, Job lost ten children, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, and numerous servants. As if that’s not enough, in the midst of mourning your loss, imagine your body is afflicted with open sores. Then the person closest to you tells you to curse God and die (Job 2:9).
Job’s wife’s question, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?” indicated (1) Job had integrity; (2) she knew it; (3) she didn’t value it. Job’s response showed both the depth of his integrity and the degree of her moral deficiency. “You are talking like a foolish [morally deficient] woman,” he told her. “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble” (Job 2:10)?
Let’s spend the next seven days taking a closer look at this man who, for centuries, has been the epitome of endurance.
The Lord describes Job as being blameless and upright, a man who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:8; 2:1). Satan challenged Job’s integrity when he told the Lord, “Stretch out your hand and strike everything [Job] has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:11).
God’s reply showed great confidence in Job’s character. “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:12, 2:6). How did God know this? Apparently he had pre-tested Job in some way to be able to speak confidently that Job was ready for the big one.
The Lord makes good use of every test we face. If the trial is a result of our own misdoings, He helps us learn and grow so we don’t repeat our mistakes. If Satan goes on an all-out attack against us, God plants himself between us and the enemy by placing limitations on his devious plans. While the devil thinks he can crush us, God uses the pressure from the trial to discover the depth of our moral fiber. If we fracture quickly, our character is pretty shallow. But, if we keep it together, the Lord can say to Satan, “Have you considered my servant [insert your name here]?” Remember—God never sets us up for failure. But, He does set us up to learn.
James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). As the Lord discovers a greater depth in our pressure index, He will entrust us with more responsibility because we have been proven to be people of integrity.
- What’s your initial response when difficult trials come your way? How can you recognize more quickly that God is using the test for your own good?
- In what ways has God tested your pressure index? How did you do in the process?