There will be two sorts who won’t understand this article. The first sort is the blessed, happy, naïve Christian who, thus far, has not been kicked in the head with the overwhelming trials and difficulties of life.  The other is that noble brand of woman whom God has blessed with a constitution of iron and who can laugh in the face of any obstacle that comes her way. This letter is for the rest of us.

You know, Job was a blameless and upright sort of chap. It says so. In Job. I think he may have fallen into our first category about the happy, blessed naïve type at the beginning. And Satan must have thought the same because he went to God and told him. Satan said that Job was only blameless and upright because God had been extraordinarily nice to him.

But God knew better. God had personally built Job and meant to use him. And so God sovereignly allowed some things to happen in order that 4,800 years later God is still glorified and you and I are able to see some important things.

Most of you probably know how the story goes. Job is going about being his normal, blameless, upright self, and in one day he is brought news that every single one of his kids has been killed. Job’s response? He begins to grieve passionately… and then falls to the ground and worships God. Side note: I don’t generally fall to the ground and worship God when I’m having a bad day. But gee whiz, what a thing to aim for.

Then his health is savagely attacked. Job is struck with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then his wife comes into the story. Good old Job’s wife. She looks over and says, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)

And here’s where I can really begin to relate to this story. I’m serious. Most of the time whenever I’ve heard this passage being preached on, the first response is usually a little grin from the pastor who looks up and says, “How’d you like to be married to a gem like that?”

But I’ll tell you what, I totally get Job’s wife. I really do. I understand being so overwhelmed and broken in my circumstances that in my despair – despite claiming Christ and knowing that I belong to Him – my faith has been drained away and I have despised my God.

Mature Christians understand that trials and persecution will come. It says so in Philippians 1:29. God grants us two things: He grants us the faith to believe in Christ, and secondly he grants us the gift of suffering for His sake. Yes, we’re promised suffering. Many Christians have never heard of such an outlandish thing. They’ve been told that, “Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the last”, or, “Try Jesus and your life will become better”. Nope. Ain’t the case. Yes, God can choose to materially bless His people and He does! But God’s chief concern is for His name to be glorified and that we, His children, are shaped and molded into His image. And many times that hurts. Really badly. The good news is that He’s trustworthy and that all things --and that means ALL THINGS -- will be worked together for GOOD. (Romans 8:28)

“My husband had an affair with the office tramp” “My child was molested”. “My child has been killed” “My tax guy messed up and we owe 20 grand to the government” “My husband is a total moron and I’m stuck with him until one of us dies” “My child, whom I’ve raised in the admonition of the Lord has forsaken God and turned her back on our family” “The husband that I desperately love and need is dying of cancer” “My husband lost his job and we are losing everything”  “My church is cesspool” “I have no friends” “My very best friend, who claims Christ, has turned against me and will not sit down and work things out”