One of my girlfriends told me Friday night that she had been praying away a Job-like life for me. At first I was like “legit — who wants to suffer like Job anyway.” But then it hit me… if I’m going to continue to go through the trials and tribulations of life, I ought to be praying for Job-like perseverance.
For those not familiar with the story of Job in the Bible it goes a little something like this:
Job is a wealthy man living with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil (1:1). One day, Satan appears before God in heaven. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
And test him he did, but through it all Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Needless to say, Job’s life was complicated. He was no stranger to difficult circumstances. Through Satan’s trial, he lost his children and significant wealth. His friends accused him of wrongdoing. Even his wife turned on him and told him to curse God. But Job maintained his integrity through it all. In the midst of absolute despair, he did not turn from his faith, and his story is preserved as a testimony to God’s sovereignty.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT praying for trials, but God has revealed to me, through the unparalleled witness of His servant Job that while there is much about my journey through life that I do not understand, I ought to continue to put my trust in the Him. He has scheduled every day of my life and there are no dangers or disappointment, suffering or pain of which He is unaware – that He will not use for His greater glory and my eternal good. I pray that even though I do not understand the reason for so many of the difficulties and downright crazy scenarios that I’ve had to endure, He will continue to provide me with the sufficient grace I need to persevere to the end.
Lord, I believe that my times are in Your hands and I trust You to bring me through to a final and triumphant conclusion. Strengthen and uphold me in the power of Your Spirit, and to sustain and comfort me. I pray I may patiently endure to the end to Your praise and glory.