What Would Job Do? How to Keep the Faith
In the book of Job, we get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a conversation between God and Satan. This one conversation was the beginning of what could have been the end for Job, but we find that he remained faithful to God despite experiencing extreme tragedy in his life.
In the presence of angels and Satan, God shares that He is proud of His servant, Job, for living a blameless life. In response, Satan begrudgingly says that God protected Job every step of the way and blessed him in everything he did, and that is the only reason Job was faithful to God. Satan responds to God, saying “But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (Job 1:11, NIV).
Instead of God giving in to whatever kind of temptation Satan was toying Him with, He did not lay a hand on Job. Instead, He told Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger” (Job 1:12, NIV).
Since He is omniscient, God knew the outcome of Job’s story despite Satan having every intention to wreck it, just like He knows the outcome of our stories.
So what if there was a conversation between God and Satan that took place before the COVID-19 outbreak?
Perhaps God was excited about the movement being made on Earth for His glory, and He shared it with His angels as a proud parent. I imagine Satan stepped up and said that the people on Earth are blessed beyond comprehension, that lives for many people are not burdened, and that it makes it easier for humans to love God. Satan probably told God to strike humans down like he did with Job. In response, God may have given everything on Earth to Satan’s power, perhaps with an exception like he did with Job.
How overwhelming of a thought this is to comprehend. But, I wonder, why would we have it any different than Job did?
Satan took Job’s seven sons and three daughters, as well as all his sheep, camels and servants. At the news of this, Job was distraught, as any human would be, but he did not allow himself to lose his faith despite going through the natural grieving process. “Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship” (Job 1:20, NIV).
When this was not enough to break Job’s faith, Satan afflicted him with sores all over his body. In seeing his suffering, his wife said, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9, NIV). We do not see the behind-the-scenes here, but likely Satan was whispering in Job’s wife’s ear to try to get him to turn away from God. Job’s reply to his wife was “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10, NIV).
God did not abandon Job during his hardship or afterwards. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has a purpose and a plan for our life and that He does not intend to harm us. We see this come to fruition for Job because “the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part” (Job 42:12, NIV).
In the midst of the current virus-consumed crisis that 2020 has brought us, we should respond in the same way Job did.
So to help us remember, we should ask ourselves this: What Would Job Do?
He would remain steadfast in his convictions, continue to look up to God for strength and peace and worship Him regardless of current hardships.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. (Job 1:21, NIV)