“If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem be against us, we do not believe Him at all.” – Charles Spurgeon
qtd in NBBC Alumni Update: January 28, 2008

I’ve been studying the life of Job lately. (Actually, the whole church was, and the children’s class got behind: we’re still studying that book along with the Psalms that the rest of the church is studying. We’re having a great time figuring out what each of the characters in Job is saying and getting quite an education on the behavior of people discussing things!)

If anyone had a hard time with circumstances, Job was the one. And he had so many questions for God. Questions I find that I have–sometimes even without knowing I’m wondering them.

“God, why are you punishing me? I’ve been doing my best to serve you!”

“God, if things are really truly ok between us, why these circumstances?”

“How is it considered punishment when it happens to others but not to me? It appears the same!”

“How can you still be ok with me when everyone else seems not to be? and when my world seems to be falling apart? and when I can’t tell up from down?”

Yet, before we begin the series of discussions between Job and his friends, we know the answers to some of the questions. As I say to my kids, God was really bragging on Job.

God: “Satan, see Job down there? He’s my friend. He’s such a great guy!”

Satan: “Yeah, he’s just your friend because you’ve given him everything he wants and needs and even some things he didn’t know he wanted or needed. Take all that away, and you’ll lose his friendship.”

So God let it be tested. And He had something more to brag about when Satan returned from carrying out the terrible deed of stripping from Job everything that he had.

God: “See, I told you he was my friend! You took away everything, and he’s still my friend! What a great guy!”

Satan: “Yeah, but he’s still healthy. Make him sick, put him into some real, physical pain, and he will start to curse you.”

So God allowed that, too. And still Job didn’t stop being God’s friend. And then (as an added “bonus”) Job’s friends misunderstood him. And they added misunderstanding to misunderstanding. And Job didn’t stop being God’s friend.

But He began to wonder if God was still his friend.

And I guess that when I’m under the circumstances, I begin to wonder that, too. I’m looking forward to the end of the book, looking forward to seeing how God answers some of these questions.