Many times, while going through trials and times of suffering, we are overwhelmed by self-pity. We question God’s reason for allowing trials and suffering to happen to us. When we don’t know the reason for our hardship, we sometimes bring accusations against God. We accuse God of things He is not guilty of. For example, when we lose a loved one to death, we accuse God of taking them from us. In tears, we go to God and we ask, “Why God, did You take my loved one from me.”
There is a story in the Bible of a man named Job. This man Job was blameless and upright. He was a man of integrity. Job reverenced God and he took no delight in evil. Yet, Job experienced unimaginable hardship and an unusually high degree of unmerited misery. But even in his hardship, Job never allowed his lips to make accusations against God. A careful observation of Job’s life will help us understand why we experience difficulties.
Behind the Suffering
Behind all of mankind’s suffering is our archenemy, Satan, the devil. Satan tries to make us bring false accusations against God. He picks the times and seasons that he goes to God and gets permission to test believers. We know this because Job 1 says there was a day when the Angel’s came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan, the accuser also came among them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you been?” Satan answered, “I have been walking around on the earth looking for someone to test.”
So, the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Satan answered, “Job only worships You because you have made him rich and You have a wall of protection around him and his family. But if You touch his family and his possessions and his body, he will curse You to Your face.” The Lord replied, “I give you power over all that he has, only do not touch his body.” Satan departed from God’s presence and immediately attacked Job’s possessions. Satan thought Job would curse God if He took away Job’s possessions and his children.
Attack on Your Possessions
The Book of Job tells us exactly what the devil does when he is on the attack. The first thing Satan does is attack your possession. He will make the dishwasher break. He will cause the only tree on the street to fall on your car. Satan will steal, break, or take whatever he can from you. The reason Satan attacks your stuff first is that he wants to rob you of your peace and ultimately stop you from worshipping God.
One day, one of Job’s servants came to him and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them when the Sabeans raided them and took them away. They killed your servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, and killed your servants; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Attack on Your Family
While he was still speaking, another servant came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” But in all this, Job did not sin, nor did he bring accusations against God.
Attack on Your Health
Again, there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you been?” Satan answered, “I have been walking around on the earth looking for someone to test.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still, he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Satan answered the Lord, saying, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”
Again, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. This time, he struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job was in so much pain and agony, his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Why don’t you curse God and die!” But Job said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Nor did he bring accusations against God.
Nothing Has Changed for Satan
Satan is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is incapable of creating anything new because he is an imitator. He is still trying to get us to bring false accusations against God. When he sees you gaining ground in any area of your life he starts accusing you before God. He brings sickness, death, and all manner of distractions to draw you away from worshipping God.
The Bible says the devil is still walking around looking for people to bully (1 Peter 5:8). Although if given the opportunity, he will attack anyone. However, he is specifically on the hunt for people who love, trust in and honor God. The devil has not changed his tactics. He is still a liar, he is still conniving, he is still a thief, and he will still murder your children. That is why the Bible tells us to be aware of his tricks and schemes. When bad things happen, know that the devil is on the prowl. He is trying to do to you what he did to Job. Therefore, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:9).
Everything Has Changed for You and I
Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It predates Abraham and Moses. Therefore, Job did not live under the dispensation of the Law of God, for the law had not been given yet. God said that Job was blameless and upright. Righteousness is a synonym of upright. Did you know God says the same thing about you and me? That’s right. God says that you and I are righteous. How can a Holy God declare a sinful person righteous? It is because of what Jesus accomplished at the cross that God declares us righteous. The Bible says, “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Truth Behind the Lie
John 8:44 tells us that the devil is a liar and the father of lies. Whenever you experience pain, heartache, suffering, or loss, the devil will tell you that God is trying to teach you a lesson. At funerals, I have heard ministers say of the deceased, “We loved him or her, but God loved them more, therefore, God took them home to be with Him.” Friends, God wants you to know that there is no truth in statements like this. Death was never in God’s plan for mankind. When we lose a loved one to death, God is saddened by our loss.
When Lazarus—the brother of Mary and Martha—died, Jesus cried. The Jews who mourned Lazarus saw Jesus crying and they said, “See how He loved him!” No doubt Jesus was hurt by His friend Lazarus’ death, but He cried because He felt compassion for Lazarus’ sisters and his friends. When Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who came with her crying, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. Then He asked them to show Him where they laid Lazarus. When they answered, “Come and see,” Jesus cried (John 11:32-35).
The devil tries to make you believe that God does not care for you and He only wants you to worship Him and be obedient to His laws. But the truth behind the lie is this: God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place, that is, pay the penalty for your transgression against God. Whatever you do, do not allow your suffering to bring false accusations against the One who loves you.