So Much Gain In Suffering!

“So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto the crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Job 2:7-10

My sights today are set on those words in verse 10:

“What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”

Have you been through some challenges lately? Have I?

Of course, we have. But what, pray, should our attitude be when we go through trials and temptations?

Our attitude should be the same as the one that the righteous men and women of old had. And Job was one of those righteous men of old. The Bible says about Job:

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” (Job 1:1)

You couldn’t get a more righteous man than that, could you? But God allowed this righteous man to go through the most difficult situations that any man can experience in the natural. Job suffered!

But it is in suffering especially that God can accept or “receive” us, as it says in Hebrews 12:6:

“For whom loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

The olden saints who knew God also knew His ways. To know God is also to know and acknowledge His ways; and the truest sign that we know God is when we can be at peace when we are passing through difficult situations in our lives. There are times in my life, unfortunately, when I have been rudely forced to face up to the fact that I did not know God. A situation will arise, and I will find myself hitting all the panic buttons available, just because I was looking at the situation with my natural eyes. And soon enough God will show me how blind I am because in virtually every one of those stormy seasons where I was panicking and generally behaving like an unbeliever, He was working out things for my good!

Indeed, the Bible says,

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

The flesh would rather not suffer. That’s a fact. For most of us, we would rather be saved and never have a single problem in our lives. We want a smooth ride in life. We would rather not face or experience a single problem, sickness, challenge or difficulty all our lives. How thankful we would feel! But we all can acknowledge that that is the way of the flesh. As long as things are going well in the natural, we are happy and rejoicing.

But even the blindest believer can at least acknowledge also that God’s ways are hardly our ways! If that is the case, therefore, rejoicing and dancing on our part does not necessarily mean that God is happy and rejoicing. God rejoices only in the Spirit. As far as God is concerned, therefore, the important fact is not whether we should suffer or not. The important thing with God is that He is working His good will in and through us. And God’s good will could hardly be the ‘good’ that we know of in the natural.

There is something else we should learn about God in this regard. It is that God is perfect. That means that there is nothing in God that we can criticize or fault. The Bible says there is no “shadow” of turning with Him! (Jam. 1:17)

What does that mean?

This should mean that whatever God allows into our lives, we should not question or feel bad about. As long as our hearts are for God, we should trust Him that all will turn out well for us.

What does the Bible say about Job?

“So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” (Job 42:12)

Imagine that! No one would want to go through the hell that Job went through. And yet the Bible says that his suffering turned out his latter end better than his beginning.

Job’s wife did not see this coming. She was blind in the Spirit. So she told Job, “Curse God and die!”

When we, too, are not seeing in the Spirit, we moan and complain and want situations to change for good in the natural. But the spiritual person can allow something to go absolutely bad without protesting for out of it, he knows, more life will come!

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