The Blessing of Adversity
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For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being. Job 12:10 (NLT)
Does obeying God’s commandments enable us to receive whatever we ask from Him?
If it were that simple, what would be the purpose of having a relationship with Him?
If that were true, then why was Job included in the Bible?
The story of Job speaks of an honorable man whose relationship with the Lord was based on his devotion to Him.
Satan said that Job’s piety was based on material possessions He received from God, but God disagreed. He believed in Job so much, that He allowed Satan to tempt His servant and cause him suffering, but he was not permitted to take Job’s life.
Job tragically lost his children, animals, and possessions. He also endured painful afflictions. Widespread suffering had invaded his life.
Human nature wants to assume that fellow believers experiencing hardships must be sinning and unrepentant.
One of Job’s friends named Zophar possessed this line of thinking, assuming Job had sinned against God.
In Job 11, Zophar judges Job, uttering these words in verses 5-6:
“If only God would speak; if only he would tell you what he thinks! If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom is not a simple matter. Listen! God is doubtless punishing you far less than you deserve!”
Zophar was wrong!
Is Zophar’s attitude familiar?
What I find admirable about Job is his manner of conversing with God— it reflects many years of dialogue. As in close relationships, there’s a heightened level of openness, a willingness to talk about anything, even to question certain things.
Did Job suffer? Yes.
Did it devastate him to see his family perish? One could only imagine.
But thanks to his deep relationship with Almighty God, Job maintained proper perspective as shown in Job 12:10 when he said, “For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being.”
Having endured adversity and uttered honest feelings to God, this servant came to his senses—and God honored him.
In March 2021, I lost my good friend and former boss to a sudden illness. He taught through actions and conversations. He brought joy, encouragement, and unity wherever he went. He preferred being behind the scenes and set an example through his work ethic. And suddenly he was gone.
On Thanksgiving morning that same year, my 82-year-old father lost his battle against congestive heart failure. He was an example of generosity, humility, and unconditional love. He was also a hard worker who maintained an active lifestyle. In July 2021, he suffered a heart attack, became bedridden, and did not wake up on that fateful day in November.
In January 2022, tests revealed I had three blocked arteries—with the largest artery being 90 percent clogged. During open heart surgery that March, a fourth blocked artery was discovered, but thankfully my surgeon performed successful quadruple bypass surgery.
Although I’m nowhere close to the example of Job, my life’s foundation is based on the deep relationship I have with God. Like Job, I remain steadfast in my communication with God over the years, drawing closer while going through the valley. In the manner that Job received more than what he lost, I had a similar experience.
My heart is stronger than ever, and I’m in the best cardiovascular condition of my life. After today, I have achieved 273 consecutive days of walking 10,000 steps.
Most importantly, like Job’s, my relationship with the Lord has deepened after the blessing of adversity.
Prayer: Father God, please guide us all through the hills and valleys, trials and sorrows of this life with our hearts firmly fastened to You. Help us all to learn the difficult lessons of life with our focus on You and our trust in You. You are worthy of all praise and all our love.
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