Jobs trial was Satan's fault. It was a full-fledged attempt to destroy a good man, his faith and to get him to turn from God. Satan has the same agenda for every single person on planet earth. The Bible is very clear that the Devil “looks to and fro across the earth to see who he can devour”.
So my question is this….why didn't his friends see this? They didn't even suggest that it may be the evil one who was attacking. They assumed that God was mad at Job and therefore being punished. They assumed an awful lot and God tells us how wrong they were. Their many words are exhausting and I can just imagine how Job must have felt as he lay in his sorrow, pain, ill health and tears. Even if Job had sinned (he hadn’t) their timing was awful. They added so much despair to Jobs already despairing soul.
The only thing they did right was that they showed up and for seven days, they said nothing. Sometimes wisdom is silence.
What if his friends had fasted and prayed?
What if his friends had encouraged him in the Lord and reminded him of Gods faithfulness?
What if they had served him humbly and just listened, attended to his needs and cried with him?
How differently would Job have handled this trial? It would not have changed the circumstances but it certainly would have changed Job. It would have given him internal strength and given him hope. Hope does a lot for hurting people.
The Bible tells us that the fervent prayers of the righteous avails much. In other words, It does a whole lot of good. Oh, how I wish that Jobs friends could have given us a real live picture of that. But they failed miserably.
Eventually, God came into the story and breathed life and right perspective into Job. Then he did HIS amazing, miraculous work of healing.
I always wondered why God allowed a righteous man to be tormented like this. It has always grieved my heart to read about his trials. But when I look at the picture that’s given through one man's life, we get to see the treasure of such great and needed truth. We get to see Satan's intentions, people's reactions, how God is sovereign and keeps us from evil... for if Satan had his way he would attack us mercilessly and kill us all.
We get to see how God wants us to pray for our friends in their trials. Also, how he wanted Job to not get bitter but instead, to pray for his unfaithful friends.
We see that God heals and that God restores.
God is such a thorough teacher who shows us the most amazing things through Jobs' story!
When you see satan trying to destroy someone’s faith, may I encourage you to remind them that God is faithful. He is so good and will bring good. That although we may not know the why's behind the trial, we do know the One who does. Tell them that God will never ever fail them. Remind them to look to Him, fall at His feet and wait patiently for Him. Our job is to bring comfort, love, and acts of kindness to the hurting. Those things actually take no words at all but they speak volumes.
Founder of ARH Ministries