But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks, Shall we indeed accept good from God, and not accept adversity?” In all this Job sinned not with his lips. (Job 2:10)
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Christians are pretty good at giving glory to God for the good things that come their way. When we get a promotion, when our needs are met in an amazing way, when we recover our health… we usually say that God gave us these things, God met our needs, God answered our prayers, God is so amazing! We would be wrong not to give the honor to God for these good things that we receive at His hand. It is good to praise God for the wonderful things He is doing for us.
But I wonder – how often do we accept the adversity that God allows? Job was righteous. He was not suffering for sins he committed. He was suffering because God allowed Satan to touch every area of his life with adversity. His finances, his family, even his body. Yet “in all this, Job sinned not with his lips”. What a testimony! Job lived before the Holy Spirit had come. We now have the Holy Spirit to live in us and give us power – and yet how many of us can say that we go through adversity without sinning with our lips? That is often the first thing we do – complain and whine about how hard we have it, and what trials we are suffering through. Then we sigh and say that we guess it’s God’s will, and we shall have to endure it somehow.
God did not give us the Holy Spirit to help us somehow endure it. We are to be ‘more than conquerors through Him that loved us’! Romans 8:37 If Job had the grace to go through the trials he did without sinning with his lips, we can be confident that God will give us grace to be Christ-like through every trial and time of adversity we face.
Jesus also left us an example of facing trials with the power of God. He cried out with the bodily pain and thirst, but He faced the hardest trial ever known to man – to be separated from His Father – without cursing God. Instead, in His hour of deepest need and agony, He was caring for others. He was caring for a sinner who was despised in the eyes of society. He was thinking of his family. He was praying for his torturers. He didn’t deny that His body was in agony, but He was able by the power of God to die to His own fleshly desires, and spend His time of trial in care and love for others.
We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be able to face adversity this way. When we are plunged into a fiery trial, a hardship, or an extended time of adversity, we will be unable to bear the strain if don’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to give us power. Oh, what a testimony to the power of God would it be, to have the Christian churches filled with people who accept good and adversity from the hand of God! Who face with thanksgiving every circumstance that comes their way! Let us look to Jesus, our example.