Testing of your faith: Job 1 vs 1-12; 1 Peter 4 vs 12-19
It’s amazing how Christians want good life. They are the first to run away from problems. The best they want is to avoid complicated issues. They yearn for comfortable lives. This is the opposite of a life of faith. People of faith should face challenges of life head on. It is after they have overcome the difficulties of life that they will be welcomed by their maker. Those who accomplish their tasks are the ones that are welcome in the Kingdom. The iron is that we want it easy. We lose before we even enter the race.
Job was an upright man. He had everything in life. He had children who were God fearing. Each time they had their yearly gatherings Job would rededicate them to God and bless them. This is the Job whom God sends the Devil to tempt/test. The scriptures above tell us the routine of the devil. He spends most of his time roaming the world looking for someone to devour. The good Lord sends the Devil to test Job not because he had done wrong but to prove his worthiness for the Kingdom.
Job proved that he was an exemplary father. Seven sons and three daughters he was given loved each other. This is quite an achievement because many a family do not see eye to eye. Brother is against brother and sister against sister. Job’s family was really a good example. We would then expect that this is the family which deserves blessings upon blessings. God himself says this about Job, “There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”(Job 1 vs. 8) What do we see? The family is visited by a big calamity which leaves the community in disarray. God says to the Devil “…everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (vs. 12). The Devil had indeed a field day and wrecked havoc by destroying all that Job had.
So what shall we do? If a perfect man is tested like this, what about us? Is it encouraging then to be good? Shall we therefore be like others who are not so good in order to avoid being tested? These and many other questions come into our minds. The scriptures are very clear. Paul says to his audience through Peter “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trail you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4 vs.12-13).
“If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.” (vs.15) This shows us that everyone will one day suffer. The difference is what kind of a person you are at the time of your suffering. If you are a Christian then you should rejoice when you suffer because God is working out something precious in you. This is very difficult to accept because we have often linked Christianity to non-suffering.
When we are committed to our Lord we should always remember that he would not let us down. Testing will come, suffering will come and comfort will also accompany us through the journey of our Christian life. “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (Vs. 19.) Those who are meant for heaven will always be tested, tempted and approved. God promises us that any testing he gives us he knows we can overcome. He is indeed a fair God. When testing comes know that God is very close and is ready to pick you up. What a God we serve!! God bless.