In the Story of Job, we learn to trust God in hard times and persevere until the end – when God is ready to restore us. Job lost his sons, finances, and health, and when things got unbearable and God was silent, he became depressed. But, through it all, he maintained his trust in God. Why? Because he still believed in God’s grace, mercy, and sovereignty.
As Christians, we know we serve the only sovereign God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent – He is most powerful, knows everything, and is present everywhere. And we know that we are not immune to life’s suffering and hardships. But we have promises of a Comforter, through the Holy Spirit, who will come to us in our times of need when we call on Him. This is why we must trust God in hard times because we know that He’ll prove faithful to us and restore us when the time is right.
Have Unwavering Trust in God in Hard Times
What happens when our trust in God wavers? We give up hope in Him for a resolution to our situation and become discouraged and hopeless. Then our spiritual life begins to suffer and we get distant from God. This is why it’s important to trust God no matter what. If we believe in Him as a sovereign God with unmatched powers, who is gracious and merciful to us, then we should have unwavering trust in Him. No matter how long He takes to restore us, or how unbearable our circumstances become.
Job’s faith in God enabled him to have unwavering trust in Him. He still believed in His sovereignty. Because his suffering does not negate God’s power and control over everything. So, he had hope and expectation that God would heal and restore him. Job acknowledged God’s power in His creation of all things:
Job 12:10 “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
We can learn from Job’s faithfulness in trusting God in hard times. No matter what we go through in life, it doesn’t mean that God’s power doesn’t exist anymore, the two things are not mutually exclusive. God’s power is everlasting. And He is unchanging and His grace and mercy endure forever.
Why We Must Not Question God
It is in our human nature to question why God allows suffering and to want answers to satisfy our understanding. Knowing that we serve a loving God who is kind in nature and plenteous in mercy. We cannot comprehend why He does what He does, nor can we meet His motives. We don’t make the human capacity for understanding God’s ways.
With that, God does not appreciate us questioning Him. He is God, our creator, we are not His. We do not have the ability to understand Him and His ways. Because His ways and thoughts are superior to ours. This is why we go to Him to seek wisdom and guidance for our lives. The Lord spoke to this through Isaiah:
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Furthermore, when Job’s human emotions took over, he lamented to God and questioned him about his suffering. And worse, why God was silent, yet present, in His pleas for help and understanding? The pain was unbearable, both physically and emotionally. He couldn’t understand why God was making him suffer so terribly and unnecessarily because he hadn’t done anything wrong.
Read Job 10:1-22 for Job’s lamentations.
Finally, after a long silence, God was ready to deal with Job and He responded:
Job 38:4;7;12 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days, and caused the dayspring to know his place?”
What questions for us today! How could one respond to God after this? This proves to us that our human capacity for understanding limits us to knowing God’s ways and thoughts. Because He controls all things in creation. He commands all of His creation to obey, including the stars in the sky and the birds of the air.
God, Sometimes, Uses Suffering to Test Our Faith
The story of Job is used as an example of how God uses suffering to test our faith in Him. We know that Satan was taunting God to mess with Job and take away all his riches to prove that he would stop serving Him. God allowed Satan to infiltrate Job’s life, save for his life itself, causing suffering and hardships, to prove his faith and devotion to Him. God acknowledged that Job was righteous.
Job 1:1 “perfect and upright, and feared God and eschewed evil.”
In the end, God proved faithful to Job and fulfilled His promises to him by restoring His wealth, and health, and blessing him with more children.
Job 42:10 “The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
And everyone around him who had shunned him during his suffering, had a newfound respect for him, including his servants. And Job had to pray to God for the forgiveness of his friends because they were proven wrong, and God even rebuked them for mistreating His servant Job.
Whether God is testing our faith in Him, we all know that suffering is a part of life, and as Christians, we are not immune to suffering. However, if we endure until the end, our reward will be our salvation.
Matt 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same, shall be saved.”
Also, when we are waiting for Him to fulfill His promises to us, and our suffering becomes too unbearable to endure until the end, our Heavenly Father has promised to send a comforter.
John 14:18 “I will never leave you comfortless, I will come to you.”
So, this promise gives us hope to continue trusting in Him and in His power to restore us.
Have Perseverance to Trust in God in Hard Times
We must have perseverance while trusting God to fulfill His promises to us. Perseverance includes patience and maintaining the right attitude while waiting. Therefore, if you believe in His promises and trust Him to fulfill those promises, you must have patience as we all know that God only works in His own timing.
The apostle James encourages the saints to have patience in their hardships because God will restore them. He references Job’s suffering as an example of his endurance until the end.
James 5:12 “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.”
Jeremiah 30:17 “I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds.”
This is a promise of God that He will restore us in our suffering. With His promises in mind, we must endure because we know restoration will come. God promised so we must trust and believe in Him. If He said it, He will do it!
When Friends Take the Place of God and Judge You
It is a great blessing to have friends of the same faith as you, to encourage and support you in hard times. However, when those friends claim to know more than God about your suffering, rebuke them and stand steadfast in His Word.
While the friends were men of God and encouraged Job based on God’s truth, they were wrong in applying it to Job’s demise. They assumed that he had sinned and was therefore experiencing God’s wrath upon his life. They kept pressuring him to confess and repent to God for full restoration.
Thinking that a man of his stature, whom God had been so gracious to, could not have faced such demise without wrong-doing. Job explained that his demise was not due to sin. But they continued with their judgment of him. And Job declared that they were “miserable comforters.” (16:2).
Even so, Job still wanted positive support and understanding from his friends. He begged them to have pity on him.
Job 19:21-22 “Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Then, Job resolved to continue trusting and believing in God to the end, knowing that the Lord will someday vindicate him and he will see the Lord after he died. At that moment, he believed that he was going to die. So, he declared his faithfulness in God to his friends:
Job 25-27 “For I know my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my *flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins are consumed within me.” *Flesh = spirit.
To conclude, Job’s story teaches us a lot of life’s lessons. Ultimately, we know that human suffering is inevitable, even for Christians. One thing we should not lose focus on is God’s sovereignty – His power and control over everything and everyone. And His promises to restore what we have lost, in His timing.
However, it’s important to sustain our trust in Him to fulfill His promises to us. We must endure to the end to receive our salvation. Our pain and suffering and hardships do not negate or diminish God’s power to do anything. He chooses how to handle our situations, and when and where – He knows best.
Finally, while waiting for our restoration, He has sent a Comforter to help us and guide us through our suffering and hardships. And when we get through our suffering and receive restoration, we increase our faith and grow stronger in Christ.