Job 1: Avoiding Fair Weather Christianity
Job gets off to a very interesting beginning in chapter 1 because God and Satan are having a conversation. God brings up Job and how he was an extraordinarily pious man who would even burn sacrifices for his children because he did not know if they had some kind of hidden sin in their lives.
Here is how Satan responded to Him.
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
I don’t know about you, but this is something I can really identify with and have wondered about quite a bit. It is really easy to be a fair weather Christian. By that, I mean it is easy to believe that there is a loving God in heaven who wants the best for us when we have everything we could possibly want. It is easy to believe that there is ultimately a good God in the universe who loves us when we see all of these blessings in our lives.
It is much harder to maintain that faith when times get hard. It is hard to trust in God when everything on earth seems to be falling apart. It is hard to trust that God will always provide when you lose your job and your entire income along with it.
Satan wanted to see if Job could handle being in that second group, and God gave him permission to do whatever he wanted except kill Job. I bet that Satan was thinking that Job would crumble when everything he had in the world faded away.
I think the same temptations are in the world today. We can tie our faith to our possessions, and we can almost see them as an evidence that we are living well. God is blessing us because we are doing good deeds and living the way we should.
As we will find out throughout Job, we need to make sure that our faith is with God rather than with our stuff. We need to make sure that we have real faith rather than the kind that is conditional on the balance in our bank account.
I will say that we might not always understand why God allows us to go through difficult times, and Job did not know why God pretty much gave Satan free reign to terrorize him, but we do need to understand that there is a plan, and the loving nature of God does not change in any of these circumstances.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.