Have you ever found yourself asking that question? It’s a hard one. If God loves us, why does he allow bad things to happen to us? Many people in the Bible asked this quetion. When David was running from King Saul, he probably asked himsef that question. When Job was being tested by the devil, he asked that question. Even some New Testament characters asked it. In fact, James wrote about it in one of his letters to the early church.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you endure trials of many kinds. For we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Let go back from James to Job. Basically, Job was a really wealthy guy. He had about 4,ooo sheep, 3,ooo camels, 1,ooo oxen, 5oo donkeys, and hundreds of sevants. He also had 10 children! The Bible also tels us that Job was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Satan sees how faitful he is to the Lord, and asks God for permission to test him. He thinks that Job is only faithful because he is so prosperous, and that if he takes away Job’s wealth, he will no longer desire to worship God.
God grants the devil’s request, and everything Job has is taken away. His livestock, servants, and even his family all die, and Job is left with nothing. But it gets better! Because Job still chooses to serve the Lord. At the end of the story, Job is given even more that what he had, and his faith in God is even stronger.
Lets say you are trianing to run a marathon. You have to work out to get your muscles in shape. Did you know that when you work out, you are actually tearing your muscle tissue? But the thing is, once they are torn, they grow back stronger. Even though tearing our muscle hurts, we must continue the training so that we can run the marathon. That is what James is talking about. Sometimes God has to tear our faith apart to make it stronger. Just like Job, our reaction should be to praise Him, because it only means that God wants to draw us closer to Himself.
So consider it a joy, my brothers, when you endure trials of many kinds. For we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Thank you God for trials!