The Old Testament states long ago lived a man named Job. He had great integrity, wealth, and influence. More importantly, he impressed God. God considered Job unique. God saw him as a blameless, upright, reverent man who despised evil (Job 1:8).

Satan argued Job would be stupid not to be who he was. God richly blessed him, and Job knew it. Why should he disappoint God when he realized God gave him all he enjoyed?

Job literally lost everything--his wealth, his children, his wife's respect, and his health. The situation was so grim his wife suggested he turn lose of his integrity, curse God, and die (Job 2:9). To her, the solution was death. At least it would end the physical suffering and embarrassment.

Job's response is still insightful: "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10) After that statement, the writer wrote: "In all this Job did not sin with his lips."

In the rest of the book, it is evident (1) Job did not understand his situation, and (2) he regarded his experiences to be acts of gross injustice. Yet, at no moment did Job consider leaving God. Neither his personal confusion, his friends' false accusations, nor his wife's loss of respect moved him to consider leaving God.

We never are upset with God for blessing us. Because we are blessed frequently in numerous ways we take our blessings for granted. At times we even convince ourselves we deserve to be blessed. Rather than being content, we often want more. No matter how "good we have it," we believe we should have it better.

Going from "having little" to "having more" is not a difficult journey. Going from "having more" to "having little" is very difficult. I am not speaking of simplifying a blessed life. I am speaking of losing blessings. Few people enjoy the experience of "going back" if "going back" requires a loss of blessings.

As long as evil functions with influence in this world, adversity will occur. Just as situations can improve, they can also get worse. Just as blessings can increase, they can also be lost. Just as ease can touch our lifestyles, struggles can also touch our lifestyles. Just as our families can know great joy, our families can also know great sorrow. Physical existence is not a continuous experience of knowing good.

Job's question is relevant for every Christian today. Can we accept God's good and reject evil's adversity? This is not a question of justice. This is a question of origins. The origin of the good that touched Job's life was God. The origin of the evil that touched Job's life was Satan. The origin of the good that touches your life is God. The origin of the evil that touches your life is Satan. Our dependence on God always will be tested more by the adversity we experience than by the good we experience.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 4 November 2001

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