When we go to church and listen to sermons, we want to be encouraged: don’t we? However, we also want to hear the truth. We never want the truth to be compromised because of our desire for encouragement.

We all go through trials and tribulations. It’s part of being human, and it’s a necessary part of being a Christian. A sermon I hear regularly deals with the trials of Job. These “Jobian” sermons ask us to consider why we are going through tough times. Perhaps, they suggest, God, knowing how righteous we are, points it out to Satan, who asks to inflict us because we don’t sincerely follow the Lord. God, knowing that we are righteous and faithful to him, allows the devil to have his way: within reason, in our lives. If you’re not familiar with this idea, I invite you to read about it in the first chapter of Job. However, I will include the essence of it here for your edification.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job 1:6-12 (NIV)

We see something like this in the case of Ahab and the lying spirit sent by the Lord. Here we see the prophet Micaiah telling Ahab and Jehoshaphat what he has seen.

Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “’By what means?’ the Lord asked. “’I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “’You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.'” “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

1 Kings 19:-23 (NIV)

I’m reminded of this verse from Hebrews.

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:31 (NIV)

Nothing happens without God’s permission. Take a moment and let that sink in. I’ll wait.

The difference, as I see it, is why? The Lord gave Ahab many opportunities to turn from his wicked ways. However, Ahab chose to follow his own way. In Ahab’s case, the Lord sought a force to carry out his will against Ahab. In Job’s case, the Lord pointed out the righteousness of Job, and Satan accused Job of following God only because of what God did for him.

Therefore, as we go through hardships in our lives, we ought to not take a place of pride, thinking we are like Job and thus are afflicted. Rather, we ought to sincerely and humbly ask ourselves- no, ask God. If we might be in the place of Ahab and need to turn from our ways.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.