As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11
Perseverance, a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Keeping at it and keep moving forward to no matter what. The book of Job in the Bible, has always been a tough one for me. But it gives us such insight into things in another realm. As much as we know what was going on behind the scenes from the beginning, Job had no idea why he was going through one devastating loss after another. Yet when the news came of all of his wealth stolen and all his children dead, the first thing he did was worship God. Then from him came the statement that is so well known, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:22)
We know that 4 of the biggest fears shared by many are poverty, loss of close relationships, loss of health and death. Job experienced the first 3 in extreme measure. His humanity cried out in Job 3:25 “For the thing I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come to me”. I have heard many Ministers of great renown claim that it was Job’s fear that gave Satan access to his stuff, but as much as I believe that unchecked fear can wreak havoc in our lives, I hold a different opinion in the case of Job. You see when God was yet again boasting about His servant, at the end of Job 2:3, His words indicated that Job’s destruction was without any reason.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “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. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” Job 2:3 (NIV)
Seems to me the whole thing had little to do with anything Job had done. It was simply Satan’s hatred of him being considered by God as blameless, upright, God fearing and a man of integrity. For us who have received Jesus Christ as our Saviour, God’s words should bring us comfort since we can tell that God was looking beyond Job’s short comings. Job’s own words throughout that book proves he wasn’t perfect, but obviously God knew this man’s heart and saw beyond his imperfection. In Christ we are made God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). You could rest assured that even as we grow in the things of God, we will make mistakes along the way, but we should always be thankful that through Christ we can receive the forgiveness and covering we need.
However, we should never forget that we have a true enemy who vehemently hates God’s creation and especially those who are His children. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to steal, Kill and destroy. That thief is Satan and just as he did with Job, he does in the lives of others today, given the chance.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
Yes, the devil is busy looking for prey and we as Christians, the family of believers, are prime targets. The verses above sounds a warning to us and then says a word that most of us don’t want to hear, suffering. I can’t honestly say I know of anyone who likes the thought of suffering. We hope we can just revel in the blessings and never feel any pain. I admit, I certainly would like that kind of pain free, have all I want to be happy life, but I accept that in this world we will go through seasons of pain. Sometimes our suffering may come as a result of the consequences of our own actions or the natural progression of life. However, sometimes the reason is simply because we are children of God. My word for you today is, ‘remember the end of Job’.
Job persevered, he refused to curse God, he kept on believing in God and our God came through with compassion and mercy and blessed Job at the end of the story, with twice as much of what he had in the beginning. He persevered in spite of the painful circumstances and God finally brought an end to his suffering and comforted him with a double blessing. God has not changed, he may not move according to our timing, we may never be given the reasons behind our troubles, but God still watches over us and will bring it to an end. He also has a blessing in store for us, which we will receive in time, either on earth or in heaven. Continue to trust in Him, continue to call on Him for help, and continue to do good. The season will change, just hold on, your blessing is on the way.
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19
Heavenly Father, I pray today for all of your children who have been going through trials, tests and any form of suffering or painful circumstances. Have mercy on them Lord and pour out Your compassion in their lives. Give them the assurance that You are with them and will help them and bless them in the end, whether here on earth or in heaven. Thank You for your goodness towards us. In Jesus name. Amen.