We have aspirations. Goals. Dreams. A plan to improve our lives and others. There’s just one problem. It’s not as easy as we thought it would be. Hidden assassins and uncontrollable circumstances have bamboozled our strategic plans. What do we do when our calling becomes inconvenient and makes us uncomfortable?
Some will quit. Some will go on, but with bitter resentment. Some will embrace difficulty and become greater because of it.
We have a choice. Difficulty is not God’s way of bringing us down; it is his way of lifting us higher. Difficulty is our opportunity to be amazing. Difficulty is our chance to astonish people with the unexpected.
Let’s look at one amazing person who overcame the most challenging type of adversity . . .
Undeserved Difficulty (We don’t know why this is happening.)
Job was a wealthy herder and farmer with a wife, seven sons and three daughters. Everyone knew he was a good man. Even God called him blameless and upright. What does Job receive for his exemplary behavior? A parade in his honor and a key to the city? No. Job gets seven years of “Murphy’s Law”–whatever can go wrong, does go wrong.
First, Job loses part of his livestock (500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys to be precise) and many of his hired hands to murderous thieves. Then, lightning strikes and destroys all 7,000 of his sheep and their shepherds. To complete this financial disaster, Job is raided and all 3,000 of his camels are stolen and his camel drivers are massacred. Okay, Job is broke, but at least he can take comfort in his family, right?
Wrong. Next, all ten of Job’s children are killed simultaneously by a tornado during a family gathering. However, his misfortune is still not over. Now Job loses his health–he breaks out in painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Poor Job!
But, Job is a good man. Why is this happening to him?
Like Job, you might be experiencing serious trouble, just because you stood up for what is right. Perhaps you refused to compromise your morals or principals. Let Job encourage you to keep standing. Your situation can dramatically change for the better, just as his did.
If you read the Book of Job, you’ll learn that Satan attacked Job simply because God bragged about how righteous Job was. God allowed Satan to take everything Job had, except his life, because he knew Job would maintain his integrity in spite of great loss. God was right. Job never cursed God (although he did question him) as Satan said he would when faced with great adversity. Job maintained his integrity and faith throughout the terrible time of testing and in his own words proclaimed…
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before him!” (Job 13:15-16, New International Version)
Job believed. When everything in his life said he should give up, quit and accept defeat, Job believed God anyway. His tenacious faith paid off. In the final chapter, God honors Job’s faith and restores his prosperity two-fold. Everyone who shunned him when he lost everything came back and brought him a gift. Plus, he had 7 more sons and 3 more beautiful daughters and was able to leave every one of them an inheritance. Job surprised everyone with an amazing comeback.
Remember, amazing people are revealed during adversity. If we have been called to greatness, then we have also been called to triumph over great difficulty.