Minimalist Bible: The Story of Job — The Second Test
|Written by Chad -|
God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.
This poster series comes from the book of Job. It is a story beginning with hardship, frustration and hurt, with an ending of redemption and forgiveness. I'm excited today to reveal The Story of Job: The Second Test, part three of a six part series.
The Story of Job: The Second Test comes from Job 2:1-10 (NLT) which says, "One day the members of the heavenly court came again to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. 'Where have you come from?' the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, 'I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.'
Then the Lord asked Satan, 'Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you urged me to harm him without cause.'
Satan replied to the Lord, 'Skin for skin! A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But reach out and take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!'
'All right, do with him as you please,' the Lord said to Satan. 'But spare his life.' So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.
Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, 'Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.' But Job replied, 'You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?' So in all this, Job said nothing wrong."
A Lump of Coal
Every Christmas while I was growing up, I was constantly threatened by my parents that I was going to get a lump of coal for being such a pain in the rear. I never took them seriously until that one Christmas... I was completely blown away that my stocking was filled with coal.
In our walk of faith with God, we will face times of pain and suffering. It happens because we live in a broken world. We as believers tend to only look to God for the positive, feel-good things—mercy, grace, love, blessing, treasures, etc. We tend to forget that pain and suffering are also major parts of being followers of Jesus. In John 16:33 (NLT) Jesus says, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Jesus is teaching us that we will face times of sorrow and trials. But following Him always leads to peace, eventually. Job held tightly to that promise. His reaction to his wife's question was very wise and faith-based. He basically responded with, "Why should I sit here and assume that God is only going to give me good things? I should also be joyful and accepting of the trials and hardships God sends." What humble perspective! Like it says in 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT), "Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."
When we press forward and remain faithful through the hard times, Jesus promises us treasures and joy beyond our imagination. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 backs that up. We must not be frightened or dismayed, because the Lord our God is always with us (Joshua 1:9). We must trust that God is who He says He is and that His promises are true. Throughout scripture, God's character is revealed and it's always good, never evil. When tough things are thrown our way, God is using them to mold us into something greater for His purposes. When we are at our weakest moments, we see God's strength shine through the trials and sorrows (2 Corinthians 12:10).
In the moment I realized that I had received coal for Christmas, I was devastated! Why would Santa Clause look at me and think I was a bad kid? Sure, I punched my brother a handful of times and I fibbed every so often to get out of chores, but I wasn't a bad kid. I started to cry over my pile of coal. When my mom noticed, she came over and comforted me. She helped me understand that the lumps of coal were actually lumps of chocolate and that I still had a pile of presents underneath the tree. I am thankful for the lesson my parents taught me when I was little because it has now helped me understand more about God's character and the kind of man He calls me to be—a follower who is willing to be dealt trials and sorrow right along with the the blessings. God uses ALL of those things to mold me into something greater for His Kingdom. And you better believe that seeing His full glory revealed will be worth it all.