Could we pass the test of Job?

Job Listening to GodAs we begin a week of reflecting on the Book of Job, we start off with what some theologians believe is one of the most important questions posed in the Bible: Do we serve God only for ourselves and our own benefit?

In other words, do we worship well when times are good, but not so well when times are bad?

How do we respond to suffering?

Job had it pretty good. His family was healthy, his land plentiful and in terms of his wealth, he was a pretty rich man.

The book starts with a famous challenge by satan who tells God that Job may appear to be a faithful servant, but only because he had been blessed with with plenty of possessions and wealth.

God – who usually refuses to be put to a test – makes an exception in this book  and allows Satan to rain down all kinds of tragedies to see if Job would  lose his patience and his obedience to God.

Isn’t that a test we all face at some point in our lives?

It is so easy to be faithful, kind and loving toward others, as long as God has taken care of us first, right? But the minute things go wrong, we start second guessing our lives, our passions and our priorities. Maybe we stop praying … what good has it done anyway? Maybe we stop going to Church … waste of time anyway. Maybe we stop believing in God?

The story of Job is truly not unique. I’ve heard it many times in various forms over the years in my work as an adult faith minister. People come to our retreat  weekends and tell us about the highs and lows of their journey of faith. Many are surprised to learn that their faith journeys are  very similar to others.

Everyone has been put to the test of Job … or will at some point. Try as we might to cure all sorts of disease, there is little chance to cure the sufferings that we all seem destined to have.

That is what the book of Job is all about. So pay close attention to the readings this week. There are lot of questions raised and difficulties addressed. It’s not an easy book to understand,  but try hard to give it a go.

Because just like Job, the devil is planning to put us to the test as well.

Will we survive and keep our faith?

 

About the Author

Dan McFeely is a Carmel, Indiana, writer, communications business owner, book editor and a former professional journalist. Dan also works as an Adult Faith Formation Minister, currently serving as a spiritual director for the men’s and women’s Christ Renews His Parish program at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. He is a graduate of the Ecclesial Lay Ministry program offered by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana and has studied theology at Marian University.

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10 Comments

  1. It hard for us pass the jobs test , especially for a Catholic single mother like me. Sometimes I ask my self if God will one day bless me with a loving husband. Though am thankful for the good health and wonderful children but I still compare myself with others and feel pain.

  2. It takes the Grace of God to pass Jobs test, we should continue in faith and prayers commitment otherwise it is very very very had to pass jobs test at this present time. God bless you Brother for this wonderful refection.

  3. many are the afflictions of the righteous but the good Lord will deliver him from them all.

  4. It was in 2002 25th June that i read the story of job with a very keen eye, ear and heart. We had gathered for our small Christian Community prayers to condole with our fellow Christian who had lost a 9 month son. I was chosen to share the word and pray. i just opened the Bible at random. Job 2:1-10. I shared the word as best as I could. I encouraged the lady to be strong and trust in God. I told her that the Lord had permitted that test! After the word I led the prayers.. I prayed as guided by the Holy Spirit.

    As soon as I finished praying my neighbour came for me. My house had burnt down completely. I only had my bible and my rosary..I had left my two children with the neighbour. My husband was at work.

    When I arrived at home I had so many things running in my head. I was jobless.. My certificates were in the house and my question was to God, how could you let this happen and I was in your service. I told God I needed my certificates. There were so many people who had tried in vain to put the fire out. Amidst all the questions I remembered the word that I had shared. I just knelt down and told God that I was very grateful that He had left me with the Bible and the Rosary. Tools of prayer! We had had where to sleep in the morning but by evening we had nowhere to sleep. We were out of every comfort! When my fellow Christians came shortly after they told me that whatever message I had given to the bereaved lady that is what I had to follow. I learn t the most of the the time we preach to one another but can we really pass that test when it comes to us?! I remembered every word that I had preached that day. I preached to myself. I remembered everything that Job went through and above all I read the end of the story! Victory! But for those who trust without looking behind. I knew that I had to be strong and trust 100% in God and thank God for everything. I now realized that I was left with the most important thing in life. The Bible and the Rosary!

    After the fire was completely out we went through the ashes. According to men’s eyes there was nothing left. Going through every place to my surprise I found my certificated only burnt along the edges but in the box that they were nothing else was saved! On my kitchen table there was one sufuria and Holy water in a bottle. There was paraffin in the jerrican and my stove wasn’t burnt! There were one dozen of plates and one dozen of cups, one jug and spoons! In a house that even the roof burnt down no one expected to find such things. Everything that remained in that house was a miracle because due to heat and that fierce fire nothing would have come out!

    The Lord restored me double and even triple of everything that I lost! I even told God to give me a job now that he had saved my certificates and to give me a job that i will just be granted without searching for I had searched enough! On 7/10/2002 I was called by a friend who told me they desperately needed a Secretary. I got that job up to date. I thank God for everything in my life. I will honour Him always and every time and I will sing of the mighty things he has done for me.

    You might be out there desperate, hopeless and doubting if there is God. Hold on. Press on. Trust in Him for indeed He is there! Be strong in faith. Stand for Him who died for you. All this you can only do them through Him Who strengthens you. Whatever the case LET GO AND LET GOD. We can stand the test through HIM WHO strengthens us. Thanks Dan.

  5. Hello,

    Mr. Dan all your reflection today was point in me….maybe not only me but most of us people in new christian world so, help us to pray that in some point in our lives the test will pass and we can have Job attitude or faith.
    Yes you are right when God given us all the comfort in life it is easy to love and care to others but the trials crossed in our ways….we can feel to stop the usual routine of being a believer….
    Thanks to you sir Dan

    God Bless you…

  6. Dan,

    To be honest with you i do not like the book of Job and like you rightly say, its not an easy book to understand. Maybe its because it relates to us, human beings. In fact in most cases i prefer not to read it but Mother Church i think has people like us in mind and so i find myself reading it this week.

    It kind of confuses me to see God allowing satan to strike Job and to do horrible things to him. And then the pain that Job endures is unbelievable. Yet he was a good man.

    It however surprises me that satan has to ask for permission before it can strike Job. How interesting!God is Sovereign after all. It is the severe trials and tests that i am yet to understand. How difficult it is to maintain even the lest attitude when life throws missiles in your direction! You look for God and honestly he is nowhere to be seen!You tend to be lonely and isolated and then of course you see no reason why you seek God in the first place. Our Chaplin used to tell us that trials are a special pruning that God carries out so that we can grow better. I do appreciate it but my understanding on this is still very minimal.

    So far however, in my case, i can say i look for the grace of God when i am going through a difficult time. I ask for wisdom and courage to go through whatever it is i am going through. In my experience though i find that the fact that i don’t understand why God brings in my life those trials also makes him the Sovereign God because His ways are not easy to understand. I find myself praying to Him to give me the wisdom and Grace to allow Him to just be that: God.

    Thank you Dan

  7. Daddy give us the strength to preserve during the hard times and learn to praise you in all difficulties, amen.

    Thanks Dan for a wonderful reflection

  8. Thank you for sharing your story. You were put to a test indeed. I’m so happy to hear that you trusted God all along. God bless you. Dan, thanks for the beautiful and thought provoking reflection!

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