Job 2:1 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2And 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.” 3 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. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” 4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
During my years as a pastor, I have counseled with many who were suffering. I have been with some who lost their job and others who have lost their family. I have wept with parents who have lost a child and I have spent hours at the hospital. During these experiences I have learned at least three important lessons:
Lesson #1 – No one is immune to suffering
Lesson #2 – No matter how small the problem seems to be, the pain is always real to the one who is suffering
Lesson #3 – Satan shows us no mercy when we are down
Not 0nly was Job suffering from his extreme loss, he was also wrestling with the forces of evil. From the passage we have just read we can see that planting thoughts of discouragement in Job’s head was one of Satan’s methods of attack. Satan used Job’s wife to suggest that he should just give up. ‘Curse God and die!’ she said. Satan also used Job’s friends. As you read through the story of Job you see how that they repeatedly tried to insinuate that Job’s suffering was because of some sin. (see Job 4:7-9)
How can we stay strong when we feel like we’re standing all alone? How can we avoid falling into the trap of discouragement? Consider another story found in the Bible. There was a time when David’s army turned against him and he was left all alone. What did David do during this moment of discouragement? The Bible says that David, ‘encouraged himself in the LORD his God.’ (see 1 Samuel 30:6)
There will be moments in life when it will seem like there is no one who understands how we think or feel. Either our pain will be too deep for us to express, or others will be too busy to listen. During such times we must learn how to encourage ourselves in the Lord. If you are suffering today, I would encourage you to take a few moments and prayerfully read Hebrews 4:14-16. Christ is waiting to hear your prayers and to help.