Few, if any, have ever had the trouble that Job had. But in the midst of his broken-heartedness and bewilderment, Job made one incredible statement: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15a).
God is necessary. We could not exist without Him. But the great question is, “Is God enough?” God brings blessings but also allows troubles. Can God be trusted in our troubles?
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them….Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? …You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person” (Job 1:6-12, fragmented).
The devil could not believe that Job loved God simply for who God is—there had to be some ulterior motive.
If you can answer “Yes” to these three questions, you have the kind of faith that Job had.
1. Can you trust God when you are suffering?
First, Job lost his finances. In one fell swoop, his flocks and herds were taken away. (See Job 1:13-17.)
Then, he lost his family. “While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ‘Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you’” (Job 1:18-19)!
But the devil was not finished.
“So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life’” (Job 2:4-6).
Now Job was covered from his head to his feet with huge boils that wracked his body with fever and pain. (See Job 2:7-8.)
Three friends came to give Job comfort. Some comforters! One of them, Eliphaz, said, “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off” (Job 4:7)? That is, “Job must have some secret sin.”
The philosophy is that you only suffer because you have done wrong. But it isn’t so. Some of God’s choicest saints have suffered. They had not done anything wrong. Some were given faith to escape; some were given faith to endure. (Read Hebrews 11:32-40.)
Faith is not receiving from God what you want; faith is accepting from God what He gives. Job said, “‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:21-22).
2. Can you trust God when friends forsake you?
What about when we suffer, and nobody cares?
Job’s three “friends” did nothing but criticize and give platitudes. “My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me” (Job 19:14).
Even Job’s wife did the work of the devil. “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:9-10).
3. Can you trust God when you don’t have answers?
Remember, you understand why this was happening—that God was allowing Job to be tested, to show that he would not fall.
But Job had not read the Book of Job. He was in absolute darkness.
“Even today my complaint is bitter; my hand is listless because of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:2-4). Job is saying, “God, you owe me some answers. What is going on?”
God does not tell us “why.” Many of God’s saints have gone into deep darkness and do not know why.
Isaiah asked, “Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God” (Isaiah 50:10).
All great Christians have talked about “the dark night of the soul.” They are obeying God, then darkness comes that they cannot understand. Isaiah says, when that happens, “rely upon your God.”
Conclusion: God Questions Job
God finally spoke, but He did not answer Job’s questions. He taught Job three things:
1. God is sovereign.
God said to Job, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). That is, “Job, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:4-7)?
God is saying, “I have a right to do as I wish.”
2. God is sufficient.
When Job finally sees God in a new light, he says, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5). By his trouble, he has gone from mere theology to a personal relationship with God. God will be nearest and most precious to you when you are suffering, forsaken by friends, and in darkness. God is not only necessary; God is also enough.
3. God is sympathetic toward His people.
The book ends this way: “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before…Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:10,12a).
God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. But you had better get the faith of Job and say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15a). Man that is born of woman is full of trouble. You will have trouble, whether you are a Christian or not. But Christians have the answers in the Lord Jesus Christ.