The Patience of Job…
“He must have the patience of Job.” We’ve all heard this famous line… or have maybe even spoken it out ourselves at times. The story of Job is a testament to noble perseverance in the face of tests and trials. This story can seem unfair or confusing at times. Yet, the Lord makes no mistakes and uses all things for our good, as well as for His.
The patience of Job and his mindset is remarkable. Scripture states that he “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). As the story continues, we witness Job’s many blessings followed by God allowing death and destruction to enter his life. Why? To continue to purify and cleanse our hearts of any contaminants that keep us from experiencing His presence.
What is Our Response to Tests and Trials?
During Job’s first test, he lost all of his possessions. While Job was grief-stricken, what did he do? He praised the Lord! Is this your response?
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”—Job 1:21
In Job’s story, many told him that he must have done something wrong. His wife even told him to let go of his integrity and curse God. Job persevered knowing that he didn’t understand it all, but trusted that God was still who He claimed to be.
“He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?’”—Job 2:10
It is easy to praise the Lord when we are blessed. However, during tests and trials, God also wants to see you prosper in spirit and rely on Him alone.
Job’s life is a prime illustration of how we can battle during tests and trials. We can be assured that they will come, but God’s Word says to count them as blessings. This goes against our carnal mind; however, Holy Spirit equips us.
“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”—James 5:10-11
You’ve had a breakthrough…and now a trial. What do you do?
- Do not focus on blame: This is a sly ploy of the enemy. The enemy wants you to blame others, and even the Lord, for your current state of misfortune and trial. It is only natural to be hurt or angry in the wake of destruction, but allowing yourself to focus more on passing blame only serves to harm your faith.
- Watch your thoughts and words: Don’t let the tricks of the enemy invade your thought-life. Ask yourself, are these thoughts from the Lord? Do they sound like His voice? Would God speak this way to His beloved? Do not come in agreement with negative thought patterns. Do not speak those curses outwardly over your life.
- Pray for restoration: Not only physical, relational, or financial restoration but spiritual restoration. During some trials, a solution seems impossible. For with God, all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26). If the trial involves others, which most do, pray for them. They could be deeply wounded—both spiritually and emotionally, as well. Pray that God is able to work in their hearts just as He does in yours.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”—Ephesians 6:12
- Reflect on scripture: In times of such testing and trials, the Word of God brings comfort. It is pure and unchanging. Allow God’s Word to penetrate your heart, will, mind, and emotions. When your own words fail you in prayer, let God do the job instead.
Patience Produces Growth
Trials enable us to grow in our character, as well as posture us to experience the comfort of God. This is how we discover His nature more deeply, through becoming aware of our constant need for Him. It says in Psalm 34:18 that God is near to those who have broken hearts. God strengthens us with the patience of Job when we become aware of His care for us in our season of trial. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (emphasis added)
Let the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (John 14:26) draw you nearer to Himself in the midst of testing. He does not delight in your pain, He is there to minister to you through it as you trust Him to bring good from what the enemy intended for evil (Genesis 50:20).
“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”––Job 23:10
This Isn’t to Alarm You…
I’ve written about the many blessings that come through tithes and offerings, but I would not be completely honest if I didn’t share that when you chose to follow God’s ways, the path is not always easy. This isn’t to alarm you… it is to prepare you to live victoriously in the face of any obstacle that stands in your way. Tests and trials are sure to come, but God’s promises stand the test of time.
Allow God’s Spirit to cleanse any impurities in your heart during these times, consider them blessings, and wait upon the Lord to restore all that was stolen.
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