The wisdom of God in suffering:
God uses suffering to reveal the genuineness of our faith.
Read Job 1:1-22
“Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”
Job was one who had it all. He had wealth, he had recognition and respect, he had a family that genuinely cared for one another. Because he had everything, he became the target of Satan’s diabolical plan to reveal the fickleness of Job’s faith. In Satan’s twisted mind, Job was only obedient because God had richly blessed him. But God knew what Satan could never grasp, that true faith is not driven by circumstances, it is driven by the transformation of the heart. While Satan sought an opportunity to destroy Job’s faith, God used it as an opportunity to demonstrate the expression of true faith even in the face of unbelievable disaster. Given a free reign, Satan, in a rapid succession of events, brings Job’s world crashing down around him. The only thing left for Job is a wife whose only counsel is to curse God and die, and four friends, three of which join in the assault by questioning the character of Job.
But genuine faith becomes most evident when circumstances seem to point to the opposite—when the things we believe are challenged and seem to be untrue. Songwriter Laura Story points this out in her song “Blessings,” a song written from the context of the pain of real-life trials and adversities; written when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. One of the many questions the song asks is, “and what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights are Your mercies in disguise?” By asking the question she points us to the answer—that suffering is often the avenue through which God bestows his blessing upon us. Suffering is the voice that gives expression to our faith, revealing to others that what we believe is not just a set of creeds we confess, but a truth that we embrace and live.
This was the case for Job.Even at the end of his life, Job did not realize the impact his story would have not only upon his contemporaries, but countless others who would go through their own “Job experience.”In his story we find hope, that no matter what may assault our faith, God remains faithful and will sustain us even when he seems silent.This becomes the power of our testimony.Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 3:13-15, that when we are going through trials, our faith becomes a radiant lighthouse for others to see and wonder at.Like Job, the struggles we face become the spotlight God uses to highlight the genuineness of our faith so that others might be strengthen by it. This in turn leads to their acceptance of the gospel as they seek the hope that we have.No one enjoys trials.But when we continue to demonstrate our faith, we know that the trials we face are not with an eternal purpose.It reveals and strengthens our faith and the faith of others, and in the end, that is what makes it worth it. Today, ask God to give you a faith that is radiant and visible to others both in times of blessing or times of suffering.