Time of Testing
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience – James 1:2-3.
The time of testing comes not to destroy us but to strengthen our faith; without time of testing, we will become content and will not seek to grow spiritually. We should grow spiritually, just like we grow physically.
Job was a man that loved God and hated evil; he walked uprightly to the best of his ability as a believer. Job did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit to enable him as today’s Christians have, yet he walked upright before God.
There was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. The Lord asked Satan where he had come from, and Satan’s answer was he had been going to and from the earth and walking up and down in it.
Because of Job’s uprightness, the Lord asked him if he had considered His servant Job; the Lord was bragging to Satan about Job. Satan felt that Job was serving God because of how he had been blessed (Hast, not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land – Job 1:10).
Satan thought Job was serving God because of material gain and not from his heart. Satan told the Lord if He took everything from Job, that he would curse him to his face. The Lord knew Job’s heart and his steadfastness; He allowed Satan to attack him, but he couldn’t touch his soul.
God never tests His children, but he will allow Satan to test them, and before Satan can attack or test a child of God; he has to get permission from God. God allowed Satan to test Job. First, Satan used the Sabeans to take away Job’s children and murdered his servants.
While the servant was speaking, another servant came and told Job his livestock had been burned up, including some of his servants. One of the servants that were taking care of the camels came to Job and told him the Chaldeans had taken away the camels and slain the servants, and he alone was able to escape.
As the servant was talking, another servant came and told him a great wind came and struck the house where his sons and daughters were drinking, and the house fell upon them, and they died. All these events appeared to have been on the same day, and human life was lost in all four disasters.
The disasters that befell Job were of human agency, Sabeans and Chaldeans, and of natural sources, the fire and wind, though Satan’s power was behind it all. These events let us know some of the events that happen in the world Satan is behind them.
Murders, hurricanes, fires, and Tsunamis are sometimes caused by Satan, not earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Job has lost two of life’s most precious possessions: family and wealth. Yet he remained upright, rather than blaming God, he worshiped (Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshiped – Job 1:20).
After Satan saw that Job didn’t curse the Lord as he had said, he thought if the Lord allowed him to touch his body, he would curse the Lord to His face. The Lord knowing Job’s integrity, allowed Satan to attack his body with boils from the crown of his to his feet.
Being in pain and discomfort, his wife comes to him and tells him to curse God and die. This suggestion could have been she felt pity for Job the way he was suffering, or it could have been Satan using his wife to try to influence Job to curse God and die as he stated he would.
Yet with all this happening to Job, he did not curse God nor did he complain; he told his wife, should he only receive good from God and not evil (But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall not we receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips – Job 2:10).
God will never tempt His people with evil, nor will He do evil to His people, but He will allow Satan to influence them to discipline or assist them to grow spiritually. Some things we go through are because we have sinned against God, and He will allow Satan to attack us. Then there are times we have gotten content in our faith and don’t seek to grow in our faith, and God will allow Satan to give us push to assist us to seek God in our tests. Then there are the times God is bragging about His children, and Satan will ask permission to test them to see whether or not they will trust God or they will sin by murmuring and complaining.
After all that had happened to Job, three of Job’s friends came, but instead of comforting him, they said he had sinned. They came with self-righteousness and judgemental; we all have had friends that think we’re going through because of sin in our lives, and all the time, God is bragging about us, and we’re just being tested in our faith.
Life will bring tests and difficulties, and Satan will bring tests and tribulations, but as a Christian, you have to have a mindset that God will not allow Satan to take you out. A godly man or woman is invincible until God is finished with them, and they’re on their way to meet the Father.
Christians have been notified that they will go through tribulation (Confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God – Acts 14:22). Too many Christians think their lives should be a bed of roses, if not, God does not love them. This is fantasy thinking; as Christians, there will be times we will suffer, and there are times we will be in need, but when God has finished whatever it is He’s doing in us, He will supply the need, He will heal the hurt.
As Christians, we must stand in holiness and righteousness no matter what we’re going through. Yes, Grace has given us freedom, but freedom has boundaries. It does not mean we can do what we want, with who one, and when we want. God’s Word should take first place in our hearts and our behavior.
When we walk uprightly before God, we have a win, win. God and His angels are fighting for us. Don’t give up on God when you’re facing difficulties. Many are walking away from their faith and God, only to have Satan continue to taunt them, placing them in bondage and away from the presence of God.
God loves you, but He wants you to grow spiritually, and this comes with times of testing!