The story of Job clearly demonstrates that adversity is not always the result of divine disfavor. At the beginning, even Job didn’t understand this truth. According to the tradition he was raised in, the righteous were not supposed to have adversity. He believed God would deliver the righteous from all evil in this present life.
But when he himself met suffering, he was thrown into doubts because it was contrary to what he had heard about God. His confusion was increased by the words of his friends who accused him of doing wrong (Job 4-23).
Through trust in God, Job realized that God possesses infinite power and graciousness, and he maintained the belief that even though he may face adversity, he is still God’s child (Job 42:5) and maintained his faith by saying, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). And although God eventually alluded but did not state why He allowed Job to suffer, Job states at the end that he had uttered what he did not understand… things he did not know (Job 42:3).
Job’s experience taught him the lesson of faith and corrected his misconception that adversity happens to bad people. The fact of life is that adversity happens to good people, and this is Satan’s doing. Once one fixes his devotion on the Lord, he no longer expects temporal blessings as an evidence of Heaven’s favor. And Job’s relationship with God had a firmer ground than before his trials.
Jesus Himself tried to correct the religious leader’s false teaching that adversity is always evidence of divine disfavor, but without success (Mark 1:40; 2:5; John 9:2). This false view of suffering was a tool by which Satan blinded the minds of those who witnessed the suffering of Jesus on the cross. For to the typical Jew, it was unthinkable that God would allow the Messiah to suffer as Jesus was suffering; therefore, to them, Jesus could not be what He claimed to be.
The truth is God is not restricted to the traditions men have created about Him. He is sovereign over all and does that which is good for all of His children. He gave His life to redeem humanity so they can trust Him fully and believe that He will not withhold any good thing from all who love Him (Psalm 84:11).
In His service,
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