Conquering Trials, According to the Book of Job
So, we all experience trials, obstacles and dark seasons in life and don’t we know it?! These are to be expected. But how can we learn how to conquer these like Job did? Whether we have faith in the Lord or not, we will get these. But life isn’t about running it easily, this race is full of obstacles, but we can run it with God and He can help us on our path to get the the finish line. And the prize? Eternity with Him.
I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The question is, how do we conquer and manage these trials and dark seasons?
The book of Job gives us some insight to how we deal with these as mere mortals and how we can deal with this in Christ.
At the very beginning Satan was asking Gods permission to use his power over Jobs life. To which God responded:
“Very well, then. everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
God may give Satan permission to cause havoc in our lives, but he would never let him lay a finger on us. This may not sound great but should be seen as reassurance, that with everything we go through, our lives are still in His hands.
And Job knew this, despite everything that happened to him (livestock stolen, servants burnt and even his own children were killed) he got up and worshipped God.
Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then fell to the ground in worship…he said “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 1. 20-22
Even Job’s wife told him to curse God and die! But Job wasn’t having any of it! He was conquering his trials! He responded:
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this he did not sin.
And so, throughout this Job remained faithful to God avoiding temptation and not sinning.
This, by any means, did not mean he wasn’t upset, distraught and desperate! Even Job cursed the day he was born! (3.1) And I don’t blame him for feeling like that, he is human! In verse 11, he’s asking why he didn’t perish at birth and why was he nursed?!
Why why why??
We ask these questions too! Because we don’t know and don’t understand why we go through what we do. Like Job, we might find ourselves saying…
“I have no peace, no quietness; i have no rest, but only turmoil.”
When things become too much and we’re desperate we might feel like we’re in one big storm. We may feel discouraged and dismayed from what is happening to us (Job 4.3-5). Job was told to appeal to God. We can do this too. By laying before Him, crying out to Him, telling Him of our distress, submitting to Him and surrendering. We can learn to conquer trials and to hear from Him in these times.
We are reassured that:
The lowly He sets on high, and those that mourn are lifted to safety.
This, right here, is our reassurance! Though things seem desperate or bleak, we can know this, we will be lifted up and to safety. We are told:
He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts it’s mouth. “Blessed is the one who God corrects; do not despise the discipline of the almighty.”
But like Job we may ask, “What strength do we have?” (6.11) but by taking a leaf out of his book we can ask the Lord to teach us. By meditating on His word we can build on our hope by His strength.
Then, by being quiet and listening to the Lord, He can show us, as He did Job, where we might have been wrong (6.24). By doing this we are on the way to conquering our trials!
Job asked the Lord where he has sinned and why he has become a target. A feeling we all have from time to time.
“Why me? What have i done?”
If you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.
If we devote our whole heart and stretch out our hands to Him, put away any sin we have, don’t allow evil to dwell in us, then we will be free of any fault and we can stand firm and without fear. By doing this we can forget our troubles and will be secure because we have that hope (11.13-19). Hope in the Lord and for His promises.
Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you.
This prosperity could be situational, but in this context it’s about conquering, overcoming and experiencing His peace amidst the trials and storms whirling around us. They might be going on but we can still be a peace, despite this. Which is what is so amazing about our faith in the Lord. By doing this it helps us become more resilient. By building our relationship with Him and submitting to Him we can deal with what life throws at us. Therefore, strengthening us. As we are told:
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Sometimes we may feel, like Job did in chapter 30, that God can’t hear us and isn’t answering us or that He isn’t even there! In which case we need to…
Discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.
By recognising what is right and associating with others in faith we can learn what we should and shouldn’t be doing. As long as we remain righteous He won’t take His eyes off of us, He will exalt us. But if we are bound by chains of affliction he will correct us, as long as we are listening to Him. Therefore…
If they obey and serve Him they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.
Job despised himself and repented and in the latter part of his life he was blessed by the Lord, even more than the before! He had more livestock than before, 10 children and he lived a long life enjoying four generations!
We won’t be living that long! But we will be blessed providing we live by His word and keep our hope in His promises.
Things may be bleak now and you may encounter many more trials, but as long as you repent and stand firm in the faith, you can conquer and survive, not only that, you will be blessed too!