The Significance of Testing

August 21, 2018

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Job 1:1-12 and 2:1-10

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” I Peter 1:7

“There was a man…” No other book in the Bible begins this way. The book of Job is about a man who faced a very peculiar series of tests all at once. He faced the loss of all his possessions and his family, and finally his health. Only his wife remained alive, and it seems as though she did not support him.

The story recorded here shows us some things about what goes on behind the scenes between God and the devil. The fact that God suggested Job to the devil as a candidate for testing is troubling to us. This can only mean that God wants us to be tested. It matters to God how strong we are, so He allows testing.

The devil accused God of protecting Job with a hedge. The hedge was his blessing of wealth, and family, and health and this is what Satan wanted to touch. He was sure that Job would curse God to His face if he lost these things. But Job stood the test and responded properly, faith in God intact.

We sometimes wonder at the significance of our tests. They are tremendously significant in that heaven and earth are moved by them. We could say that our tests have cosmic significance. Why? The powers of heaven and earth discuss them. Our own small history of faith takes place within the larger drama of the history of the universe. You and I are foot soldiers in the colossal spiritual battle of the ages.

Secondly, our tests are significant in that God stakes His reputation on our decision to come through faithfully. The astonishing truth is that our choices of faith matter not only to us and our destiny, but also to God. “Hast thou considered my servant Job?” Job’s faithfulness gained for God a great victory over Satan.

Thirdly, our tests are significant and our trials severe, so that we learn to believe and trust Him even when nothing about our test makes sense, and we detect that He wants us to trust Him for no other reason than that He is our Savior in the end.

Can you say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15)? Can you say that when you are stripped bare of wealth and health, and family and friends, and when pain descends and everything hurts?

– James Baer