One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”
“From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered Him, “and walking around on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”
Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
“Very well,” the LORD told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence (Job 1:6-12 HCSB).
God thrust Job into the arena. Have you ever noticed this? God brought him before Satan. He drew attention to Job’s blamelessness and uprightness, his fear of God.
By doing so, He put these qualities within Job to the test. Satan suggested that Job would not remain faithful if he suffered, and this becomes the setting for the book of Job: his tests and suffering. Sometimes our faithfulness has to be tested in the fire of trial and suffering. Job came through the test. But God put him in the furnace of testing. Why?
The book of Job never answers Job’s question, “Why?” When God finally answers Job, His response in essence is: I’m God, you’re not. Sometimes there is no answer to the question of why people suffer. But God answered Job, and this has much greater significance. Job wanted to make his case before God, something he didn’t get to do. Yet God answered him, and in the end this is what mattered—not the answer, but the One who answered.
Still, God thrust Job into the arena. Throughout the Bible, God placed people in the arena with all eyes watching to show forth His glory. When we remain faithful in the midst of trials, sufferings, hardships, and pain, not only is our faith strengthened, but we glorify God before a watching world. Satan could no longer express a caveat for Job’s faithfulness, because he remained faithful through his trials and suffering.
Job’s story tells us, though, that God will thrust us into the arena—not for our comfort, but for His glory. Sometimes God wants to put us on display before a watching world.
In the midst of trials, sufferings, hardships, and pain, will we choose to remain faithful to God? Will we be a bright and shining example to the world around us? Will they see that our faith is genuine and will remain unshaken even during adversity?
Father, in the midst of trials, hardships, and suffering, may we display loyalty and faithfulness to You. Amen.