I have always loved the story of Job. It represents what God expects of us in a very clear and easily understandable fashion. It shows true devotion and the faith a believer must have as well as the ultimate reward he will receive.
On day Satan was in the presence of God; he liked to occasionally enter the Kingdom to boast of his work to ruin mankind and gloat about it. He frequently would drop by to talk of his walks with man on earth and how easy it was to corrupt God's creation.
God pointed out Job, one of his strongest believers, a devout and truly good man as an example of one who could not be swayed by the cunning Devil.
Hearing about a true servant of the Lord always got the "hackles" up on the Black Angel, who saw his mission since being banished to be the ruination of mankind by whatever means of evil it took. He told God that the only reason Job was devout was because he was rich and had everything he wanted; money, a wonderful family and home, plenty of livestock and land. Satan challenged God for the soul of Job, kind of like a bet, saying that he could break Job's commitment to the Father.
God accepted the challenge, knowing he could trust Job, and turned Satan loose to try and work his will on this fine man. His only limitation was that Satan could not kill Job.
Suddenly, Job's life began to turn from wonderful to horrific. Over time he lost his wealth, his land and animals, his home and lands, and, finally, his family. He was in anguish but still he wouldn't blame God for his troubles.
Finally, in desperation, Satan used severe physical pain against Job in his final assault, infecting him with large and painful boils which throbbed and burned and for which Job could find no respite. He couldn't sleep and couldn't sit comfortably and cried out in great anguish, but he still wouldn't forsake his Lord.
Three of his good friends, hearing of his plight, came to visit. Watching his torment and discussing it in the way of the times, they told Job that what had happened was his punishment for not following God's law. They recommended that Job confess his sins and ask for God's mercy.
Job listened to them, but even though in great distress, shook has head saying that he trusted God, followed him with all his heart, and had done no wrong.
At this point, Our Almighty Father, looking down from above, stopped his torment. Job had successfully weathered what some would call the impossible test, and God restored him to health and his good life. All that was taken away was given back and, once again, the perfect light of God defeated the evil of Satan.
So what should we take away from this story today? What does it mean to us?
Well, like Job, we Christians are being tested. The world that we know is falling apart, being ovetaken by evil and lifestyles filled with greed, corruption and immoral behavior that we know to be wrong. But God doesn't expect us to cower in the corner in fear. He expects us to stand up for Him, even knowing that we may suffer persecution and worse on this earth while retaining our trust in Him.
Are we up to the challenge? Can we successfully steer our course of life on His behalf? Well, each individual has to make that decision. Stand with God or allow evil to prevail ultimately swallowing you up in its grasp. It's really that simple.
But remember this, when Judgment Day comes, and it will, we will each be called to account for our lives. We can turn our lives over to Him now, with the promise of forgiveness and everlasting life, or opt for endless torment in the depths of Hell. The choice is clearly our own, but I would suggest that we decide now for when the Judgment comes it will be final and swift.
God bless you and God bless America. Stand strong, not silent and may our land once again become a shining example of the Lord's grace.