The Test of Suffering
A devotional thought from Afshin Ziafat for “Perseverance”
Job 1:20-22: “Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh. Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.”
Trials and suffering are inevitable in life. It is hard to imagine a more difficult trial than the one Job experienced. Job 1 begins with a conversation between God and Satan. Satan accused Job of fearing God only because God had blessed him enormously. God told Satan that he could do anything with whatever Job had, but he could not touch Job. Job ended up losing all his livestock, servants, and children. And his response is shocking. He worshiped God!
We learn that Job worshiped by declaring that all he had was from the Lord and the Lord had rights over all his life. What is stunning about his response is that he acknowledges that the Lord was sovereign over his suffering, yet he does not charge God with wrong. Even though Satan was the one who afflicted him, Job understood that God was in ultimate control of his life, and he worshiped by trusting Him even in tragedy.
In fact, we learn that it would have been sin for Job to do otherwise. Jonah is an example of an opposite reaction to trials. Jonah was upset with God because God had mercy on His enemies, the Ninevites. In fact, Jonah was exceedingly angry with God. The Hebrew language actually conveys that Jonah charged God with evil. The life that pleases God is the one that honors him in good and bad times.
Pause and Reflect
• Why is Job’s response an act of worship?
• When have you honored God in trials? When have you not?