In our rollercoaster of all of life’s emotions, have you ever felt anger toward God when your life comes crashing down around you? Do you ever have feelings of panic? Who’s in control when your life is out of control? As we examine the conversation between God and Satan, we see Satan asking for permission to test Job’s faith. Notice here, that God is in control, even over Satan. It’s important for us to know that, apart from God’s approval, Satan can’t conduct business in the world. Now, why God allows Satan to test us is a sermon series of its own. But for now, we only need to accept that God is indeed in control.
The book of Job is a book of conversations. Not only conversations between God and Satan, but peculiar conversations with his friends and even stranger conversations with his wife. And, most importantly, Job has conversations with God concerning traumatic events.
All of his kids are killed, his livestock (livelihood) is taken from him, his health fails, and his marriage is on the rocks. He has no earthly reason to continue to trust that God is good, let alone loving of him. His “friends”, who know from life experiences that Job is an upright man of faith, now turn on him and accuse him of being full of sin. Even his wife, who knows him more intimately than anyone, tells him he should just curse God and be damned, rather than allow suffering to continue in their household. And Job responds to all of this in faith.
A word of caution here; We shouldn’t think of Job as being free of feeling hopeless or forsaken or traumatized. Job is human and he’s experiencing all the loss, pain, anguish, fear, and downright anger we feel when we hit rock bottom. But instead of talking about God (gossip), Job talks to God. Even when his emotions run angry, God can take it. And, He appreciates Job. First of all, for never failing to believe He exists, but also for continuing to believe He cares enough about him to hear him out. This is an act of faith through feelings of hopelessness. And God’s reward for faith is huge – it’s restoration. Symbolized here in Job’s losing everything to gain even more, God’s ultimate reward for surrendering everything in faith is eternal restoration. It’s absolute forgiveness of all sins and exceedingly abundant life with Him.
A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 NIV