THE WORD: Faith through trials

“Job and His Friends” by Ilya Repin is a painting in the collection of the Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg. (Public Domain)

The patience of Job is an attribute that many aspire to and most fail to achieve. Job was afflicted with all manner of tribulations, including loss of his wealth, children and his physical health. Satan was the source of Job’s troubles, but he did not know that.

Throughout Job’s trials, his friends — Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar — debate the reason for his afflictions. Job refuses to turn his back to God even though he wants to know why he is suffering. His friends suggest that Job has done something wrong in God’s eye that is causing God to punish him. Ultimately, Job never learns of the actions of Satan or God’s reasons for allowing Job’s suffering to occur.

Job’s situation reveals something about the nature of suffering among believers. While Job did not learn the reason for his affliction, his friends learned the power of remaining faithful to God. The friends are ultimately rebuked by God for their words against Him. It was only through Job’s prayers that the three friends were redeemed. Job knew that God’s motives and methods cannot be questioned by man. He also knew that our faith in God is the one thing we control. Ultimately, Job’s faith resulted in his long life and many rewards on Earth.

JOB 42:1-3

42 Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.