From the beginning, humanity has had the idea that if they obey God’s laws, God will in return bless them. Job’s youngest friend, Elihu tells Job, that if people listen and obey God, they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.” (Job 35:11) With this statement Elihu declares one of the biggest myths about God. In fact, it is very similar to what Satan, accused Job of when He went before God in the beginning. Remember? Satan said to God, Yes, Job honors you, but only because you bless him and build wall of protection around him. (Job 1:9) This was why God gave Satan permission to mess with Job in the first place. If Satan can get you to believe that you only get what you deserve from God, He keeps you blocked from truly knowing God.
You see, in God’s economy we don’t get what we deserve. If we did – we would all receive death because all of us are sinners. Instead, God pays the price for our sin with Himself. He prospers those who deserve prosperity and those who don’t. God often invites us to the desert of suffering because there, He awakens in our soul a deep hunger for Himself. What we have seen in Job, is a man who lost everything, who dared to express his hurt and anger to God in deep lament, but a man who found the tenacity to not let go. Often it is in our times of deepest suffering that a transformation occurs in our faith. I believe , God uses pain to prepare his people for a deeper understanding of Himself.
How has God used pain in your life? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
I believe that some expect material wealth from God when often He chooses to prosper us spiritually, as you said, Becky, He often chooses to strengthen our faith. During the hardest times in my life, I have been able to look back and see how He has blessed my life and used that painful time to prepare me for work that He has for me. I honestly believe that where there is no pain or suffering, there is often no growth.