THE PERSEVERANCE OF JOB

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

APRIL 18, 2023

TOPIC: THE PERSEVERANCE OF JOB

BY T. O. BANSO

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11 New King James Version).

What do you think you would do if you were to experience what Job went through? Or how would you have reacted if you were in his shoes? When you read the story of Job and see the sequence of the tragedy that befell him, what is usually your reaction?

The Book of Job is considered by some Bible scholars as the oldest in the Bible. The exact location of the land of Uz where Job lived is not certain. But the Book of Job opens in a striking way thus: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1 New King James Version). What a testimony!

But this was not the only time that the Book of Job records this testimony about Job. God, not just the writer of the book, testified of the good character of Job. God said to Satan: “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8 New King James Version).

God gave the same testimony about Job a second time to Satan, a reminder that He meant what He had said before: “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3 New King James Version).

Satan’s argument the first time God gave His testimony about Job was that Job was blameless and upright, feared the LORD, and shunned evil because He was protecting him and his family and blessing him. He said, “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:10-11 New King James Version).

But God knew that what Satan said was not true. That could be true of some people but not of Job. And this was evident later in Job’s attitude throughout the duration of His trial. Satan said if God withdrew His protection and blessings, Job would curse Him. Indeed, the wife of Job later told Job to curse God and die when His trial moved to another stage but he refused to.

In order to prove Satan wrong, God allowed Satan to attack Job’s family and property but forbade him from attacking his person (verse 12). Consequently, Job lost all his children and wealth in mysterious circumstances but the Bible says, “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’” (Job 1:20-21 New King James Version).

Would that have been your reaction if such a thing had happened to you? Would you have cursed God or said unprintable things about how God has failed you? Would you have abandoned God? Not many believers today would have done what Job did. Sometimes when we haven’t even experienced one percent of Job’s tragedy, we have failed to respond in faith because we believed or we have been taught that worshipping or serving God guarantees us trouble-free lives. But Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b New King James Version). According to David, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19 New King James Version).

However, the death of Job’s children and the loss of his wealth was just the first stage of his trial. Satan didn’t get his expected reaction from Job.  So the next time God vouched to him about the character of Job, he replied: “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2:4-5 New King James Version). Satan’s argument this time round was that Job maintained a good character because He was enjoying good health from God and that if his health was attacked, he would curse God. Consequently, God gave him permission to attack his health but spare his life.

Verses 7-8 say, “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes” (New King James Version). Job’s trial grew worse. He had earlier lost all his sons and daughters and wealth. The only member of his nuclear family left was his wife, who should have been encouraging him, but she had no words of comforting for him. She told him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Verse 9 New King James Version). It was as if instead of killing Job’s wife side along with their children, Satan purposely left her out to add to his pain.

But what was Job’s attitude again? “But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips’” (Job 2:10 New King James Version). Things got worse for Job as he was depressed by his troubles, for the presence of his friends who came to comfort him was not helpful as they began to condemn him when they started talking. Job felt betrayed. He was deserted by everyone. The silence of God made things extremely painful to him. He could not understand why a righteous person should experience such troubles.

Although Job, out of pain, spoke some words demanding an explanation for his troubles from God, he never denied his faith in God. He cursed the day he was born (Job 3:3). But he never cursed God. Job held on to God. He said in Job 13:15a that though He slew him, he would trust Him.

He persevered in his troubles and he is given to us in the New Testament as an example of perseverance. James 5:11 says, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (New King James Version).

Job said in Job 19:25, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (New King James Version). Job was not correct in all that He said just as his friends weren’t, but he was far better than they were. He was a man in pain but they proved themselves to be wise people with incomplete wisdom!

God said eventually to one of Job’s friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (Job 42:7b-8 New King James Version). Job’s friends obeyed and Job prayed for them.

Job persevered to the end and God, who knew how his story would turn out before he gave Satan permission to take him through his troubles, restored his losses after he had prayed for his friends. God gave Job twice as much as he had before. All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came and ate food with him in his house. They consoled him and comforted him. Each person gave him a piece of silver and a ring of gold.

Job’s perseverance paid off. God proved Himself faithful in his life. Job 42:12 says, “Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys” (New King James Version).

May I encourage you today to persevere? Don’t give up whatever you are going through now. “Don’t give up and be helpless in times of trouble” (Proverbs 24:10 Contemporary English Version). Paul said, “We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We often don’t know what to do, but we don’t give up” (2 Corinthians 4:8 Easy-to-Read Version). Don’t give up. Persevere.

The God who restored the losses of Job and gave him twice as much as what he had before will do the same for you. Just like Job, you may not understand why you’re going through your present troubles but trust in Him. Trusting in God is more important than understanding the why of your situation. You could know why and not be able to solve the problem. Trust in God. The psalmist says, “In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame” (Psalm 71:1 New King James Version). Put your trust in Him; He will not put you to shame. He has your best interest at heart and He will fulfil His purpose for your life as you follow Him.

Persevere. Another word for it is “endure.” Endure to the end. He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22b; 24:13; Mark 13:13b). Along with other things, Paul had perseverance (2 Timothy 3:10). He said in Romans 5:3-4 that he gloried in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produced perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, and hope. Hope does not disappoint.

Persevere. Ephesians 6:18 says to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Perseverance is one of the things the Bible says we must add to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-6). You need perseverance. Hebrews 10:36  says, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (New King James Version). Persevere. Just as Job saw the end intended by the Lord, you will see the end He intends for you, too, for He is very compassionate and merciful.

TAKE ACTION!  

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to persevere and not give up. I shall endure to the end and be saved. I shall see/experience the end God intends for me in Jesus’ name. Father, give me a positive change.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
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Website: www.cedarministry.org