“Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?”Job 2:10 (partial) (CEB)
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.
I was reading the Book of Job in late January/early February (I wrote this post in early February). These are the winter months, and winter is the best time to read the Book of Job. Although I don’t live in a country that has winter or snow, January and February are still the closest we can get to winter, with temperatures in the high 70’s (Fahrenheit).
Why is winter the best time to read the Book of Job? Well, in most parts of the world winter is cold, bleak, harsh, and depressing. The leaves are gone from the trees and bushes, so the environment appears dead and void of life. The world looks grim. People tend to stay indoors and look sadly at the bleak world outside. Although there are some joys of winter that are unique to the season, it’s not an easy time of year. The bleak background atmosphere of winter is great for reading the Book of Job, which is about suffering.
And since the End Times are painful and filled with suffering, much of the Book of Job applies to our lives today too. I realized this during my latest read-through of Job. So for the next few posts, I’m going to be using Job to write about End Times topics. Job went through horrible suffering on a level that some of us will never experience. But he stayed Faithful to God through it all, giving us an exemplary model of how to endure our suffering and the pain of the End Times.
Happens to the Best of Us
Job deals with the horrible suffering we’re all bound to go through in our lives. None of us can escape it—it’s just a sad part of our fallen human condition. No one has a life free of suffering—even the Righteous, who love and obey God.
The suffering can get so bad at times, it even makes us question God and our Faith. We cry out in agony and wonder: “Why is this happening to me? Why is God allowing this to happen to me? What did I do wrong, to make God angry with me to punish me like this?” We all go through times like this, like Job. Even if our calamity isn’t as bad as Job’s, he still serves as an example for our lives. Even the part about questioning God.
It’s only natural we start questioning God in the deepest depths of our pain. The pain we’re enduring conflicts with our idea of a God who loves and cares for us. If He loves and cares for us, why is He causing us this pain (or allowing this pain to happen)?
It’s not a sin to question God, especially at times like these. What good is Faith if it never gets tested, never gets stretched to the breaking point sometimes? Being delivered from periods of suffering like Job’s often strengthens our Faith. Once we’re saved from that low point, we can look back and see how God was really with us and protecting us the whole time. But we can’t have our Faith strengthened in this way if we don’t go through the suffering first.
We can’t hope to appreciate or value good times if we don’t know what bad times are. We can’t appreciate a sunny day if we’ve never lived through a rainy day. Enduring through the periods of suffering like we see in Job are an important part of growing stronger in our Faith. And suffering makes us more able to enjoy our periods of blessing when we have them, because we know what it’s like to not be blessed.
This is one of the most important lessons of Job. We’re going to go through good times and bad. But we need to keep the Faith, trust in God, and thank God at all times. We need to thank God for every day of life, rainy and sunny days alike.
Will We Receive Good from God, but not Bad?
Job 2:10 is one of my favorite lines in the entire Bible. “Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” It’s an incredible declaration of Faithful obedience to God.
This line comes after God allowed Satan to kill Job’s children, destroy his property and livestock, his house, and so on. To make things worse, in chapter 2 God allows Satan to inflict physical suffering directly on Job by making him sick with severe sores all over his body. Once prosperous and healthy, Job was now reduced to a humiliating and pitiful state. He sat on top a pile of ashes and scratched his sores with a broken piece of pottery. His wife, seeing how low he’d fallen, told him to give up. She said just “Curse God, and die.”
Job’s answer was as courageous as it was simple: “No.” And then he responded with: “Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?”
(7) The Adversary departed from the LORD’s presence and struck Job with severe sores from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. (8) Job took a piece of broken pottery to scratch himself and sat down on a mound of ashes. (9) Job’s wife said to him, “Are you still clinging to your integrity? Curse God, and die.”Job 2:7-10 (CEB)
(10) Job said to her, “You’re talking like a foolish woman. Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” In all this, Job didn’t sin with his lips.
“Will we receive good from God but not also receive bad?” That question isn’t only aimed at Job’s wife. That question is for every one of us. What happens in our life is God’s doing (or it’s God’s doing to allow Satan to act in our life, like we see in Job 1 and 2). Will we accept what God is doing when times are good, but not when they’re bad? Both are His doing. If we love Him, we should trust Him and accept both.
God is Sovereign, and in control of the entire universe. Of course that means He’s sovereign over our lives too. He gives us every day of life we have, which includes both our times of trial and our blessings. Both are His Will for our life. Since God is ultimate, who are we to object to what He does, and even if we did object, would it change anything? See Part 74 for more on that. And if we love when God gives us something good, who are we to object when He gives us something bad? Both are His to give as He sees fit. Nothing we can do or say will change that.
When we’re at rock bottom, it doesn’t seem like our suffering has a Godly purpose to it. It seems like God is trying to kill us!! Rock bottom is a dark place where we don’t see hope in anything, not even in God.
But the truth is that Jesus is with us all the time (Matthew 28:20), praying for us and giving us the strength to endure. Whatever we face in life, God gives us a way to endure through it. These times of hardship strengthen us and strengthen our Faith. Once we get beyond the suffering, only then can we see how God was actually with us the whole time, protecting us and helping us. This is not something we can see without first hitting rock bottom and being lifted up from there. Once we see it, our Faith grows stronger than ever.
But at the end of the day, here’s what we need to understand … God will do what He’s going to do. There’s nothing we can do to change that. We can object and rage against Him when He does something, but that only adds one more layer to our present suffering. That only makes our present tragedy harder to deal with, as we don’t have the comfort from God that we could have. We can rage, or we can accept what God is doing, even if we don’t like it.
We can learn to accept bad from God too, not only good things. If we can do that, we take away that extra layer of suffering (the rage against God) that makes an already-dire tragedy even harder to deal with. See Part 74 for more on this.
Will We Accept Good Times from God, but not the End Times?
This also means we need to accept the End Times. This was what Part 74 was about. The End Times are bad right now … and they’re going to get even worse. It will be the worst period of suffering humanity has ever seen. We will see all the terrible tragedies Christ warned us of in Matthew 24, a time called “The Great Suffering.” We will see all the death, destruction, and chaos warned about in Revelation. Billions will die, and it’ll be horrible.
To say the “End Times will be bad times” is the biggest understatement in history.
But the End Times are also part of God’s Plan. God’s Plan is His Sovereign Will. God’s Plan cannot be changed, stopped, altered, delayed, and so on, by any human action. Will we accept good times from God, but not the End Times? Why not? Who are we to object to God’s Plan?
With that in mind, let’s stay grateful to God right now, for the gift of today. If we’re enjoying the blessing of good times right now, let’s give God His proper thanks for those good times while we can still enjoy them.
But these End Times are painful, so maybe we’re not having good times right now. If we’re suffering right now, we know it won’t last forever. We know that either the bad times will end, we will die, or Jesus will return. Any one of those options are possible, and all will bring an end to our suffering. So let’s give thanks at all times, knowing that no bad times are permanent.
Good times or bad … nothing lasts forever. Not even The Great Suffering.
God Makes Good Things out of the Bad
Something that makes times of suffering like Job’s so much harder is the fact that we can’t see the end of it. We lose all Hope, even in God, and see no light at the end of the tunnel. Our limited human perspective can’t see any way for our situation to end in a good way.
We can’t see an end to our suffering. We believe the rest of our life will always be this painful, and we despair. But this is a lie the devil wants us to believe about our suffering.
The devil wants us to feel our suffering will never end. If he can succeed in making us swallow that lie, we will despair and curse God, like Satan wanted Job to do. Satan’s goal when we suffer is to make us turn away from God, the one power that can help us. Instead of that, let’s do what God wants us to do in our suffering: Endure, and draw closer to God for comfort.
No matter what though, we must not despair and believe Satan’s lie about our suffering lasting forever. We know that this isn’t the truth. After bad weather must come good weather. After bad times must come good times, and so on and so on, and that’s life. We won’t stay at rock bottom forever, and God will give us times of blessing to balance out the suffering we must go through.
No one is guaranteed a life full of 100% suffering, and no one is guaranteed a life full of 100% blessings. Good times or bad, nothing lasts forever. When we’re in the deepest depths of our pain, we need to remember that.
And there’s one more thing we need to remember. God always pulls something good out of something bad. God loves to take an evil situation and turn it to good. We see this in the end of the Book of Job, when God undoes everything Satan did to poor Job. God undoes Satan’s evil in Job’s life, and turns it into good. Let’s read:
(10) Then the Lord changed Job’s fortune when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all Job’s earlier possessions. (11) All his brothers, sisters, and acquaintances came to him and ate food with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him concerning all the disaster the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a qesitah and a gold ring. (12) Then the Lord blessed Job’s latter days more than his former ones. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. (13) He also had seven sons and three daughters. (14) He named one Jemimah, a second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. (15) No women in all the land were as beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave an inheritance to them along with their brothers. (16) After this, Job lived 140 years and saw four generations of his children. (17) Then Job died, old and satisfied.Job 42:10-17 (CEB)
The LORD changed Job’s fortune, He turned everything around. He corrected the evils Satan committed. He blessed Job’s later days even more than his younger days. Job not only enjoyed even more prosperity, he also had ten more children. He lived for another 140 years and died happy, a satisfied man.
God took an evil situation and turned it to good. We must remember this too: God always brings something good out of something bad. So when we’re suffering through a tragic situation, like Job, we need to keep our Faith and trust in God, like Job. Trust in God, and God will take care of us and lead us out of our suffering and into our blessing.
Our suffering never lasts forever, and ends in God’s blessings. And this even includes the painful End Times, which end with God’s new world (Revelation 21 and 22). So trust in God, pray, and endure. God never abandons us, despite how things might seem when we’re going through the worst. Everything will be alright in the end.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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