Yesterday I posted part one of “Why It Happens To Christians” (Click here). That post was to provide Scripture for reflection while navigating through the pain of hard times. Today I will explore another reason why hardship comes into Christian’s lives.
“God only allows Satan to do what will accomplish the opposite of what Satan intends.” (Tim Keller)
Read Job 1:6-22.
Satan wanted to discredit God by showing that the reason Job served God was for the blessings he was given. Satan sarcastically said in essence, let me bring some hardship into his life and he will curse you to your face. God allowed Satan’s request… with restrictions. God did not allow Satan to touch Job himself.
Satan then caused Job to lose all his possessions… all his servants… and all his children were killed. Job’s response? “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Read Job 2:3-10.
Satan then said to God a person will give everything for their life. He suggested to God that if he could strike Job’s body, he would curse God to His face. God allowed Satan’s request… with restrictions. God did not allow Satan to take Job’s life.
Satan then struck Job with loathsome sores from head to toe. It was so terrible Job’s wife said (Job 2:9-10), “Curse God and die. But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?'”
God is sovereign over Satan. Satan can only do what God allows, nothing more (Consider 1 Cor 10:12-13).
God uses Satan’s devices to defeat Satan himself. Satan thought he would give God a black eye by exposing man’s selfish reason for serving God… to receive blessings. However, the opposite of what Satan intended actually took place! Which means that thousands of years later… and into eternity… Satan’s failure will be proclaimed to God’s glory! The same thing happened when Satan thought he would win a victory over God by killing Jesus. But it was the death of Jesus that brought about Satan’s defeat. Satan’s attempt to defeat God actually resulted in the opposite of his intent… to God’s glory!
Suffering exposes the true object of our faith. When suffering enters our life, then we find out if we serve God for the “benefits” of being a believer OR if we serve God because of our love and devotion to Him (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
God doesn’t explain all the reasons why to us during suffering because that would defeat His purposes. If God had told Job that his story would bring glory to God for millions of years, then Job would have endured for that reward and not simply out of love and devotion to God. If God were to tell us all the reasons for our suffering (Assuming we could even understand them), then we too would endure for reasons other than our love and devotion to God. This would minimize God’s glory and decrease our reward in heaven.
Navigating through the hard times of life is only possible by the grace and strength God provides in Christ. These two posts are intended to be an encouragement as we seek to glorify God in all things.