Job: Suffering, Temptation, and Testing in our Lives

At Derwood Bible Church we are traveling through the amazing book of Job.  A good man’s world is turned upside down in one day, and his account gives great insight into the nature of testing and temptations we all face in life.  I've been struck by the following truths and principles, all found in the first two chapters of Job…

1)  Satan has distinct personhood.  From Job to Revelation, just as his name signifies, he relentlessly accuses believers though we stand on the precious blood of Christ.  He has the gall to accuse the Lord of Hosts to His face… imagine his fury on the redeemed.   Oh, how important it is to renew and settle our mind on God’s Word!

2)  The Psalmists declares that the fool has said in his heart there is no God.  That one takes the cake, but to deny the reality of #1 above has got to be a close second, with disastrous results in one’s life. 

3)  Satan presents himself before God along with other angels, signifying his total subjection to Him…good to know for the big picture. 

4)  Satan does not lay a finger on anyone before being granted permission from God.  That means nothing comes our way before clearing God’s desk:  “No temptation has overcome you except that which is common to man…”

5) Satan displays astounding disrespect and distain for God – and he’s certainly not thinking loving thoughts toward you.

6)  God grants Satan power to hijack nature for disaster, to incite hatred within men to harm others, and to afflict people with physical maladies.  

7)  Satan is preoccupied with tempting the righteous to sin. Like the adulteress who reduces a man to a loaf of bread, take his bait and you will be sitting on the sideline.  Don’t let him take you out of the game!   

8)   Job’s wife became a mouthpiece for Satan’s basic assault on Job:  “curse God and die”. Your temptations and trials will often be defined when you are truly standing alone.  There are times you cling to your integrity when friends forsake you and loved ones harm you.  Jesus didn’t have friends cheering Him on while He sweat drops of blood - He was alone with His Father. 

9)  Job not only maintained his integrity in his testing, he strengthened it.   A lifestyle of fearing God and shunning evil was the foundation he drew from in his suffering.  What you habitually take in is precisely that which will be squeezed out under duress.  Cut the endless and mindless entertainment which saturates our society and let the word of Christ dwell in your richly. 

10)   OK this last one is not from Job, but is necessary to put all this in perspective.  From the rest of Scripture we know that Satan is a defeated foe, on a short leash, and has a sealed fate.  Christ is the Victor and will soon crush him.   You, my friend, are a co-heir with Christ and reign with Him.  When the devil reminds you of your past, by all means remind him of his future.  Resist him and he will surely flee.  Put on the full armor of God while maintaining a healthy view of your own vulnerabilities and a foe who would devour you.  Stay in the Word, develop accountability, prioritize fellowship, and keep short accounts. Do not be afraid of Satan, but live soberly and remain alert. 

“Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Amen and thank God for that

 -   Pastor Colin