I have a lot of things I’m thankful for. You probably do, too. And with Thanksgiving just behind us, there’s a good chance you recently spent some extra time thinking about and thanking God for those blessings.
What if you lost them all today?
What if, without warning, God allowed Satan to rip those blessings from you one by one?
Could you still be thankful?
Could you still praise God?
I wish I knew my honest answers to those questions. I wish I could say with absolute certainty that if God allowed me to lose my wife, my friends, my home, my health, and all my worldly possessions, I could still stand before Him with praise and worship. But I don’t know. I don’t know because I haven’t been there; I haven’t felt that pain; I haven’t experienced that trial.
But Job did.
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In a single day, Job sustained the kind of loss that would drive most of us out of our minds. He lost his farms, he lost his livestock, he lost his workforce, and he lost all ten of his children. How did he handle it?
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (Job 1:20-22).
When we talk about the book of Job, it’s usually with a focus toward the middle and end of the book—looking at where Job went wrong and the lessons he learned along the way. And that’s important—but let’s take a moment to appreciate what happened here. In the middle of his life’s greatest trial, after having everything taken from him in one fell swoop, Job bowed his head and worshipped.
Could you have done that? Could I?
* * *
I still don’t have the answer to that question—but I do know this: As we read through the book of Job, it’s clear that he had some understanding of the bigger picture. He says of God, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15), later asking, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands” (Job 14:14-15).
Job knew this life wasn’t the end. He knew something better was coming—a “change” that God had revealed to him. Even in the middle of one of the most difficult trials anyone has ever faced, Job clung to that vision of what was coming.
I suspect that’s the key. Vision. Job could have looked exclusively at what he’d lost—but instead, he held onto God’s promises of the future. That didn’t stop him from mourning or grieving or trying to understand why all this was happening, but throughout it all, Job was certain: “You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands” (Job 14:15).
* * *
You and I have a lot to be thankful for, but I think we both know that the most important thing we have isn’t tangible. Even if God allows Satan to take everything physical from us, our adversary is powerless to touch our calling.
This is the promise we have from Christ: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
That doesn’t mean we’ll never face a trial. That doesn’t mean we’ll never experience something on the scale of what Job faced. What it means is that when trials come, no matter how severe, we too can cling to the future promised by God. We can endure knowing something far greater is coming, and that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
I don’t know how I’d fare in Job’s shoes. I hope I never have to find out. But I do know this:
We are the called and chosen of God. No matter what comes, no matter the damage it does or the toll it takes, no one can snatch us from our Father’s hand. If we stay close to God, we have the promise of eternity in His Kingdom as His children.
And that’s something to be truly thankful for.
Until next time,