“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”Job 2:10
Job had lost all his possessions. His ten children had been murdered. While in this destitute state he also had his health taken from him. His view of God was challenged to its core even further when his wife abandoned any notion that God was good or loved him and told him to “curse God and die.”
It is not uncommon to hear unbelievers challenge the goodness and love of God by pointing to the many tragedies and the horrendous suffering occurring around the world. We are particularly challenged when it is close to home. The years of severe drought in vast areas of eastern Australia, bush fires and floods in other places have served to bring a lot of pain and suffering to many people. What is particularly overpowering in emotional pain is when crops are near harvest and they are wiped out by flood, fire or frost. Months of hard work, financial expense and high expectations wiped out in a moment. Christians who experience this would have a strong sense of how Job felt.
In such a situation our view of God is severely challenged. We may be inclined to doubt God’s goodness and His love in such times but the remedy and response is readily available when we reflect on the cross of Jesus. John wrote, “By this we know [God’s kind of] love, because He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16). Paul wrote, “God demonstrates His own [kind of] love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Job did not understand why he was enduring such pain and loss. His friends made matters even worse and more confusing. But even though he was at a loss as to why he was in this situation he was not at a loss as to the nature of God. “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22) and “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
Paul wrote, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” And, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:18, 28). God’s aim is to conform us to the image of His Son (v 29). What we experience is the expression of God’s goodness and love to achieve that end even though it may be painful at times.