God disciplines those He loves, and often times, that discipline comes through the trials and tribulations we face in this cursed world. Sometimes, the trials are brought on by Satan, a very real enemy who has free will to incite evil, but apparently, has to at times–if not always–ask God before inflicting physical harm to His children.
Job had God’s hedge of protection around him, as the Bible records in Satan’s discussion with God about Job. Satan challenged God regarding the character of His servant Job, so God, in order to do something great in Job, removed His protection and allowed Satan to do what he wanted to Job. This included destroying his wealth, killing his family, and then inflicting a horrible leprous disease onto Job.
Now this is serious. This is extremely difficult to comprehend. If God is good, WHY would He allow Satan to do SO much damage on a FAITHFUL child? Our human minds cannot understand this, unless we allow the mind of Christ, which He has graciously and unnecessarily given us (alas, we are deserving of NONE of the amazing and good gifts He gives us), to set our mind on things above. We have to raise our perspective to God’s.
1.) God did not allow Satan to harm Job’s soul.
Satan was able to attack everything that would fade and die in this world eventually, but he was not permitted to harm or take what would last eternally: Job’s soul.
2.) It grieves God when His servants die, but He knows it is not the end for them, and that where they are sent to after their earthly bodies die is a far better place, in fact, it is the best and safest place for them to be, where all their tears will be wiped away, and they never again have to suffer or experience death, and ultimately, when Christ returns, evil will be completely wiped clean from the earth and a new, perfect land will take its place.
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.”-Isaiah 57:1-2
3.) Death, sin, and sickness are all inescapable curses on this earth that are brought about by our OWN sin. All have contributed to the earth’s corruption, however, God is so extremely good, He made a way for us to pass through this fading, painful valley into an eternal, perfect one. Not only that, He provides His children comfort for the pains this sin-fallen world brings by offering access to Himself, 24/7, by giving us the highest supernatural power anyone can attain: the Holy Spirit, and by preserving and providing us with hope through His incredible wisdom and promises revealed in the Bible.
4.) God was strengthening and building Job’s character, revealing things to Him, using the trials to do something eternal in Job’s heart. Job was not a perfect man, indeed, only Christ was the perfect man. Like all of us humans, Job needed character work.
God is a Father; He desires a right-relationship with His children, above sacrifice. Job had a fear for God, but since everything was going so well in his life–wealth, health and a big family, he didn’t realize how much he didn’t know God intimately. He was righteous, but he didn’t have this strong hope and intimate love and closeness with God, and his wealth and family had taken first place in that area.
I make this claim because of how he continued to react after the grief hit. He said some very hopeless, depressing things. Yes, he lost all of his earthly possessions, but since all of his joy was in that, rather than in the Lord, he wanted to give up and just die. He wasn’t thinking about witnessing for the Lord’s glory, for staying alive, hanging in there and living whatever life he had left for God’s glory. He was so destroyed and wrapped up in what he lost, he had no desire to proclaim all the good God had done for him until that point, and to tell others about God. He falsely believed the prosperity gospel, and when everything was taken, though he did not forsake God, He did view Him differently.
Job allowed his loss to make him bitter. Clearly, there was something off in his heart. There are many Christians who suffer incredible loss, like Job, but they don’t throw in the towel and beg the Lord to kill them and behave as if they now have nothing else to live for. Job was unconsciously saying God wasn’t worth living for. Job was living for his family, but once they were gone, he wanted to go with them.
I am reminded of all the Apostle Paul suffered, and yet how when he thought of death, it wasn’t out of despairing all he’d lost and suffered in the world, but rather, it was out of a joyful longing and expectation to be with Jesus eternally. Yet, knowing that since God had not yet allowed him to die, he knew he still had work to do on this earth, and thus proclaimed:
“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.”-Philippians 1:20-25
I am sure there was more God was doing, but I hope this helps anyone who may be grieving to the point of wanting to just die. Who and what are you living for? Sometimes, only trials will tell.