Few people in history had as much to lose as Job had. He was enormously successful, vastly wealthy, blessed with a large family and he was known for his integrity and righteousness. The devil questioned Job’s motives for worshiping God, claiming that Job’s worship was based solely on his extraordinary blessings. So God allowed the devil to attack areas of Job’s life. Even after the devil stole his children, possessions and health, Job held fast to his faith in God. In the end, Job’s restoration came when he developed a deeper relationship with God, when he listened to God’s Word more carefully, and when he ministered to God’s people by praying for his friends.
Job’s story reveals key principles about God, the devil and suffering. God uses suffering caused by Satan to give believers a deeper experience and a closer relationship with Him. God can use anything, including Satan, to bring about that closeness. The devil, however, does not have free reign to do whatever he wishes. He is hedged in by God and can only do what God allows. The suffering that we encounter will cause us to trust God’s sovereignty and His timing. As Job discovered, we must hold onto the truth of God’s goodness while we wrestle through the suffering. The chief lesson we can learn from suffering is this: “I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). God’s will cannot be overturned.
When we are going through suffering, we need to seek to understand God more, trust Him more and listen to His Word more carefully. We shouldn’t allow anything to shake our faith in God’s goodness. Finally, we need to minister to others and pray for them because God can work through us powerfully in those times, even when we are hurting and in need of prayer ourselves. God’s ultimate purpose will be realized in us as we grow deeper in our relationship with Him. Then we can look forward to the blessing of restoration.
1. What things would you try to save if you had to evacuate your home and only had a few minutes to pack a bag?
2. How do people react when they lose everything? What emotions do they show and what things do they say?
Let’s Get Personal
1. Have there been times when the devil has attacked your life? What did you learn about God through those times?
2. How has this message changed your perspective of suffering?
3. How have you experienced God’s restoration?
Take the Next Step
1. In what areas of your life do you need to surrender to God’s sovereignty and His timing?
2. How will you approach suffering differently in light of this message?
3. What are ways you can minister to others who are suffering?
4. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: Job 1:6-12; Job 38:1-41; Job 34; Job 42:1-7; James 5:7-11; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; James 1:1-12; Isaiah 40:18-31.
Renew Your Mind
“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not reach out and put your hand on him.’ So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.”