“Job never saw calamity coming, but he was ready for it. He had spent his entire life preparing.” —Pastor Charles R. Swindoll
If you could choose your life’s course, which one would you choose—the rocky course or the smooth?
The answer is obvious. We’d select the smooth path—the flower-lined lane filled with an assortment of sights, smells, and pleasurable diversions. No jagged rocks or steep hills to climb. Only soft grass to soothe the feet and soft winds to cool the brow.
The problem-free life sounds inviting, doesn’t it? No worries about money. No hassles with the kids. No headaches at work. No stress, no friction, no pain.
Unfortunately, only in over-the-rainbow dreams does such a life exist. Down on earth, no matter how hard we work to attain a life of ease, an avalanche of losses may wipe us out at any moment. How do we spiritually prepare for disasters that we don’t see coming? To what hope do we cling to when calamity crashes in? The ancient patriarch Job has a few answers, and we turn to his account of suffering in this study.
Satan may have set out to destroy Job, but that was not God’s intent. God permitted Job’s trials to display Job’s faith, the quality that God knew Job had. Through his years of devotion to God, Job had been preparing his heart, so that when suffering came, Job’s character shined through. The trials proved the genuineness of Job’s faith. The same is true for us through our suffering, and someday, a bountiful reward will come.
Peter confidently pointed to the light at the end of our dark tunnel:
There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:6–7)
Job’s life teaches us three points of wisdom:
- Trials are inevitable. Expecting a problem-free life leads to disappointmen
- Our world is fallen. Until Christ returns, we inhabit a war zone. Good people suffer
- God is sovereign. The wisest posture through life is humble submission to God
How does believing these truths help you prepare today for whatever suffering may come to your life tomorrow?
“When Calamity Crashes In” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Clinging to Hope. You can stream this message online anytime at insightforliving.ca/audiolibrary.