August 11

Not Comfort - But Character
For reading & meditation
Job 2:1-10
"... Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (v. 10)

We come today to one of the most difficult principles to understand in relation to suffering - but it must be grasped nevertheless. It is this - accept suffering as a gift from God. This principle flows out of today's verse - a verse which one commentator describes as "the most profound verse in the Bible." It is obvious from reading this passage that Job's God is not a celestial Being who sits on the parapets of heaven, dropping nice little gifts into the laps of His children, at the same time saying, "There, that will make you happy; that will surely please you." There is much more to God than that. The God of the Bible dispenses the things that bring most glory to His Name. If, in achieving glory, He sees that suffering is the best means to that end, then that is what He will give. So mark this well - God is not under an obligation to make you comfortable. Can you see the truth that is contained in the words of our text today? "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" (NASB). You are ready to accept good, but are you just as ready to accept adversity? You see, God's goal is not our comfort, but our character. That is why it is wrong to tell a non- Christian, "Trust God, and your troubles will all be over." It's unfair, dishonest, and downright unbiblical. In fact, becoming a Christian may mean that you will have more troubles than before. And why? Because character is formed in the furnace of affliction - no suffering, no character.
PrayerFather, if ever I needed Your help I need it now. It's easy for me to accept good from Your hand; help me also to accept adversity. Etch these words, not merely into my mind, but into my spirit. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study

1 Peter 1; Psalms 65:10; Psalms 119:67; Isaiah 48:10
1. What analogy does the Scripture draw?
2. What is the result of enduring suffering?