Understanding God’s sovereignty—and power—to bring good out of evil can sustain us in times of trial.

Lessons from the Life of Job

by Adam Wittenberg
8/27/18 Christian Living

This is part one of a two-part series.

The life of Job, a man whose story is told in the book of the Bible by that name, contains many lessons for us today. In it, we see the value of patience, perseverance, and the importance of holding our tongue, not to mention God’s faithfulness, restorative power, and goodness.

Job’s story sticks with us because it’s quite epic and vivid: a rich man loses everything, suddenly and without warning, and yet remains faithful to God. His friends, and even his own wife, discourage and accuse him, but Job’s faith remains. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25).

Eventually (after forty chapters into the book), the Lord vindicates Job and restores with an increase everything that the devil stole (Job 42:12).

Although Job’s story ends well, there is much we can learn from the long journey it took to get there. These truths can encourage us when we’re facing loss or hard circumstances, or even in the ups and downs of life.

1. God Is in Control

Start to finish, the Lord remains on His throne—no matter what happened to Job or what happens to us. We often don’t see it, and we usually don’t feel it, but God’s power does not decrease when life is stormy. His strength is unchanging, and His will is good—at all times!—as Job confesses once he hears from God:

“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. . . . I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:2–3)

Understanding God’s sovereignty and power to bring good out of evil can sustain us in times of trial. Scriptures that contain this same truth can guide our prayer lives. Here are a few examples:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:1, 4)

And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

2. Satan Is Subject to God

In the first two chapters of the book of Job, the devil has to ask God’s permission before he can attack Job. And the Lord allows the attack, knowing that Job has the faith to endure it (Job 1:8). Nothing that Satan does is outside of God’s control. Although his rage is great (Revelation 12:12), he cannot function beyond what God allows.
Some liken the devil to a pawn which God uses to bring about His will. It’s a deception that the devil has power or authority; he has nothing but what is given to him, and that power is temporary—and always subject to the will of God. We live in a world that “is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
Let us take heart. Satan may attack, but God is always able to deliver us from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), give us grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), and work all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

3. The Lord Will Vindicate the Righteous

God brings order to chaos, and His arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1). Even in persecution, Job knew that his Redeemer would save him: “I know that I shall be vindicated” (Job 13:18).
God promises vindication for His people all throughout Scripture. Take these following verses to heart through prayer and meditation:

For the Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is none remaining, bond or free. (Deuteronomy 32:36 ESV)

For the Lord will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants. (Psalm 135:14)

And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? (Luke 18:7 ESV)

We don’t know the timing or the way, but God is faithful to restore what the enemy stole (Joel 2:25–27). He’s looking for people like Job, who will faithfully proclaim His goodness, sovereignty, and salvation, no matter the circumstance.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:15, 17)

Where do you need God’s vindication in your life?

To learn more about persevering in times of trial, we recommend Growing through Mistreatment by Allen Hood. Discover keys to spiritual maturity, fostering a strong inner life and cultivating a tender and responsive heart toward God, even in persecution. Available on CD and as an MP3 download.

Adam Wittenberg

position

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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