The Patience of Job
September 2001 by Asher Intrater
There are deep revelations in the
book of Job concerning spiritual warfare, the
mystery of the church, the suffering of Jesus (Yeshua), etc. Its most basic
message however has to do with what happens when the righteous suffer.
Here are a few lessons for us:
1. Bad Things
Sometimes bad things do happen to good people.
2. Not Their Fault
The suffering that happens to good people is not because they have
sinned. It's not their fault.
3. Attack of Satan
The direct cause of the suffering of good people is the attack of
demonic forces, who because of
evil intentions, are out to destroy the righteous.
4. God in Control
Despite the attacks and suffering, God is still in control over the
big picture and can turn
everything to His own purposes. That takes some of the pressure
5. Just Don't Know
Often we don't know and can't know what the reasons are why
righteous people suffer. Despite
theological mumbo-jumbo and prophetic mysticism, there are times
when the reasons are simply not known. Sometimes we go around and around
in our minds asking, "Why?" That's just a waste of time and
6. Dark Thoughts
During the period of suffering, the person will often struggle with
thoughts of unbelief, depression,
frustration, even suicide - tending to blame God even
when he knows that God is not at fault. It comes with the territory.
7. No Friends
During this time friends are unable to help. There is no good
advice. Theological counsel of
other believers usually makes the situation worse.
8. Stand Up
When God finally revealed Himself to Job, He told him, "Stand
up and gird yourself like a
man" (Job 38:3; 40:7). God gave no explanation and no sympathy.
He calls us to cut the unbelief, stop the negative talk and stand up
to Him as a covenant partner. This may sound hard, but it is actually tremendously
encouraging. Even in the worse circumstances - like Abraham before
the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 18), Moses at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15),
or David after the sin of the census (2 Samuel 24), God treats us as covenant
partners with full authority.
9. Double Blessing
In the end of course, God blessed Job with twice as much as he had
before. That's His purpose. You
have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end
intended of the Lord (James 5:11). So He will do for us, if we persevere
with faith and patience to the end.
10. Blessings on Friends
With his restored blessings Job also blessed his friends around
him, even the ones who had been
(This article arose out of
discussions with my friend Dan Juster, as we talked
about the difficulties that many have been through these past couple of
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