Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: Learning God ALWAYS Has A GOOD REASON For Trials Even Though We Do Not Know It
(Job 1:9-11; 31:35; 38:1-3)
  1. Introduction
    1. It is easy to understand why bad things happen to bad people: God judges sin in sinful people, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:28-30. However, when "good" people suffer horrendous trials, the most mature of Christians can be tempted to question God's goodness or wonder if God is unknowable!
    2. One of the great lessons about the suffering of righteous people found in the book of Job is the truth that God always has a good reason for the trials of the upright even if the afflicted do not understand them:
  2. Learning God ALWAYS Has A GOOD REASON For Trials Even Though We Do Not Know It.
    1. As we discovered in the first lesson in this series, [besides wanting to deepen Job's maturity through trials] God wished to reveal the righteousness of Job unto Satan, cf. Job 1:8; 2:1-3.
    2. However, Satan felt God's previous blessings to Job hindered the exposure of Job's real heart, a heart he implied would curse God were these worldly blessings to be withdrawn from him, cf. Job 1:9-10; 2:4-5.
    3. Accordingly, to prove the depth of Job's uprightness as well [as to mature Job even more], God allowed SATAN to bring upon Job all sorts of horrendous trials, Job 1:12-19; 2:6-8.
    4. Though Job never cursed God to His face as Satan had claimed Job would do in these circumstances, Job came close to such sin in demanding God explain WHY he had allowed all of these trials to come, 31:35.
    5. However, the great evil in Satan and the infinite goodness in God led to Job's having to STAY IGNORANT of the REASON for these horrible trials:
      1. Had the Lord informed Job that his trials were a proving ground to Satan in exposing Job's upright character, Job would have known enough to have trusted God too easily to have had the trials expose the godly character in Job!
      2. Then, were the contest between God and Satan regarding Job's character been thus tainted, God could not have defended Job's character before Satan's slander, and Satan could have charged Job was not under a truly fierce enough trial to reveal his true character, Job 1:9-11.
      3. Thus, because God was so GOOD, God laid His own reputation with Job on the line to defend Job's character before a very evil Satan: God showed Job His divine power and godhead in creation's order to teach the Creator God's ways were too lofty always to be understood by the created man, Job, cf. Job 38:1-8 et al. Job thus had to trust God without God's explaining WHY his cruel trials existed, and that would deepen Job's character to his benefit and God's glory and appreciation of Job, Job 42:1-6!
      4. Also, were Job to have known these tests were a trial to see if he, the most highly esteemed human in God's eyes at the time (Job 1:8; 2:3) would falter, thus revealing Job's relative UPRIGHTNESS, Job could have become sinfully proud of what God had appraised of his uprightness, and thus he would not have been so upright anymore. Accordingly, God in His goodness kept Job ignorant to preserve him from sinning like God used a messenger of Satan to afflict the Apostle Paul lest he become proud at all of his spiritual insight, cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7.
Lesson: Due to the complexities of the TEST involved, it was NOT in the best interests of BOTH God AND ALSO Job for JOB to KNOW the REASON for all of his trials. God thus revealed His ways of necessity must sometimes be BEYOND human comprehension so that Job should continue TRUSTING His GOOD INTENTIONS in such trials even though God did not clarify Himself to Job, cf. Job 42:1-6.

Application: (1) Just because WE do not understand how God could be GOOD while allowing fierce trials to come on the upright does NOT mean God is BAD! May we never limit the GOODNESS of an INFINITE God to the comprehension of the FINITE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. (2) Sometimes, IGNORANCE is BLISS in trials, for what is at stake in the trial is much more than we as humans can have the capacity to understand without our also committing acts of sin, cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7. Let us then be CONTENT with ignorance if that is God's assignment for us in a trial. (3) Remember, SATAN himself may be the AUTHOR of a lot of our trials although God always ALLOWS them to come, for God Himself tests no man to sin, cf. James 1:13-15, 16-17.