Sunday, November 14, 2004

Accepting Adversity: Job 1:22, 2:10

While I do not want to belabor my thoughts on these first two chapters of Job, I do think there are two additional things worth considering about Job's attitude towards his suffering. The first thing worth noting is that Job accepted his affliction. Job says in chapter 2 verse 10, "shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" It is hard for most of us to think about accepting adversity. For some, the acceptance of adversity is a sign of a lack of faith. I know people who, when faced with difficult times, simply say "I don't receive that." But Job knew that he had already received what he had received. To deny it or claim to not receive it would not change what he in fact had receive, it would only serve to promote a form of self deception. To be sure, there are schemes and activities of Satan that we must resist and not yield to. When Satan persists in trying to get us to doubt the truth of what God has given us, we must stand firm in our faith, even a faith in what is not seen. But sometimes, there is a fine line between resisting the will of the devil and living in denial of reality.

I thing what Job understood was that times of affliction in ones life is not necessarily a sign of a lack of faith or of failure. All of us go through difficult times in our lives irregardless of the level of our faith or our spirituality. Job understood that a man's spirituality is not judged by the ratio of blessing to affliction in his life, but rather by how he walks in faith through times of blessing and times of affliction. The Apostle John speaks of a victory that overcomes the world. He says that this victory is our faith (1 John 5.4). What he is saying is that victory is not a state where your life is no longer touched by difficult circumstances, but rather, that victory is when you can go through difficult times without loosing you love, faith, and devotion to Jesus. When you can walk through adversity and continue to believe and trust in God, then you have true victory.

The second thing worth noting is that Job did not blame God (Job 1:22). I have heard some people say that we must forgive others, forgive ourselves, and forgive God. However, God has never done anything that needs to be forgiven. God does not sin, nor does he treat us with injustice. All of God's ways are righteous and true. The truth of the matter is that, if we are angry with God, it is not God who needs forgiveness but we ourselves. We need to ask God to forgive us for incorrectly judging Him for all the bad things that have happened in our lives. There are many reasons why things happen to us, but God is not to blame. Anger towards God only serves to further separate us from God and make our situations even worse. We must humble ourselves and recognize that God is just and ask Him to forgive us for our anger and our faithlessness. Only then can we find faith to believe that God will bring us through all our circumstances with grace and victory.

David Robison

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