Introduction: Satan had slandered Job by promising that Job would renounce God if God removed His blessings on Job’s life. Here, Job showed Satan to be a liar. Even after losing everything, Job repented of his prior complaints against God and worshiped Him. God responded by restoring what Job had lost twofold. Through Job’s victory, God reveals the seven stages leading to spiritual revival and restoration. They include: (1) confession, (2) repentance, (3) atonement, (4) forgiveness, (5) faith-led obedience, (6) joyful fellowship, and (7) hope.
First, in response to God’s questions, Job confessed that he had made ignorant complaints against God. Just as with Job, spiritual revival begins with the confession of your sins. Second, Job then repented of his sins. Spiritual revival also requires that you repent of your sins. Third, God then judged Job’s friends and commanded them to offer a blood atonement. Spiritual revival also requires faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Fourth, God accepted the atonement and Job’s intercessory prayers to forgive Job’s friends. Job foreshadowed our intercessor Jesus. Spiritual revival includes God’s forgiveness of your sins through Jesus’ death and His intercession. Fifth, Job and his friends obeyed God’s commands. Spiritual revival is evidenced through Spirit-led obedience. Sixth, God restored Job’s friends, along with his physical belongings and health. The friends helped him to find joy and move forward from his grief after losing his ten children. Spiritual revival also brings God’s fellowship and joy. Finally, God gave Job ten more children. He also gave him the hope of eternal life with his ten lost children. Spiritual revival also includes the hope of eternal life and your full restoration in Heaven.
Job confesses his sins to God. After hearing God’s revelations about His sovereignty over all of His creation, Job confessed that he made accusations against God out of ignorance: “1 Then Job answered the Lord and said, 2 ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:1-3). God began by rebuking Job, his friends, and Elihu for misrepresenting Him: “Who is this who darkens the divine plan by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). Here, Job came to realize he could not possibly understand the thoughts and greater plans of the Creator of the universe.
Job confessed to making many sinful accusations against God out of ignorance. Before his trials began, God twice certified Job to be a “blameless and upright man” (Job 1:8; 2:3). Yet, like all people, he was still a sinner. Through his trials, God exposed Job’s hidden sin in presuming to know His will (Job 32:1-2). After his trials began, Job said many things that he had come to regret. Job complained to God that he had been treated unfairly after a life of faithful service (Job 7:1-2). He accused God of treating him as God’s enemy “Why do You hide Your face and consider me Your enemy?” (Job 13:24; 19:11). He further claimed that God was “hunt[ing] [him] like a lion.” (Job 10:16; 16:9, 13-14). He also accused God of restraining him like a sea monster: “Am I the sea, or the sea monster, that You set a guard over me?” (Job 7:12). Believing that God had treated him unfairly, he also believed that there was no one to save him from God’s wrath: “there is no one to save me from Your hand.” (Job 10:7). He claimed that there was no justice on Earth (Job 9:24). He also accused God of failing to answer him (Job 19:7; 30:20; 31:35). He further questioned the reason for his existence in light of his intense suffering (Job 10:8-12, 18-19; 3:11). He asked for God to end his life (Job 6:11). He even cursed the day God created for his birth (Job 3:2-8). This list is not exhaustive. Thus, Job had many reasons to humble himself and confess that he had unfairly lashed out against God.
Job confessed that he questioned God out of ignorance1
Confess the limits of your wisdom and your need to depend upon God. During his trials, Job sought to vindicate himself before God against the charges of major sins that his friends (acting on Satan’s behalf) had made against: “But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue with God.” (Job 13:3; 23:2-4; 37:5). “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.” (Job 30:20). “Oh that I had one to hear me! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written,” (Job 31:35; 19:7). Job failed to ask if God was seeking to use these trials for spiritual growth or for some other reason. Job believed that God acted mechanically to instantly reward the righteous and punish the wicked. His misunderstanding created a crisis in his faith. In response to God’s many questions, Job was forced to concede that he was wrong to claim to understand the mind of the Creator of the universe (Job 42:3). Like Job, the psalmist humbly confessed that he could not fully understand God’s wonderous plans: “You have encircled me behind and in front, and placed Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot comprehend it.” (Ps. 139:5-6). Isaiah later stated that mankind does not have a right to demand an answer from God: “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— A piece of pottery among the other earthenware pottery pieces! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Is. 45:9). Paul made a similar claim: “On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use?” (Ro. 9:20-21). God also wants you to approach Him with humility and trust. He has greater plans for you, even if you don’t understand them (Ro. 8:28).
You can trust that God’s wisdom is superior to yours. When you reject the wisdom of God’s Word, you have committed the sin of believing that your intellect is greater than God’s. This ultimately leads to disaster. “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12). Because God knows everything, you can put your trust in Him: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5). “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Ps. 37:5). “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Ps. 62:8). “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Is. 12:2). Are you trusting in God’s Word or yourself?
Even when you can’t explain it, have faith that all things are possible with God. Job was not the last man of the faith that God would need to reassure with His Word. God would later need to reassure even Abraham: “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Gen. 18:14). Just as Job did here, the great leaders of the faith would restate God’s promises and His faith to boost both their faith and the faith of those around them: “‘Oh, Lord GOD! Behold, You Yourself have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,” (Jer. 32:17). “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). “All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account, but He does according to His will among the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can fend off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35). Jesus also restated faith in God the Father’s power as an example for us: “And looking at them, Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matt. 19:26). The next time your faith weakens, restate God’s Word to boost your faith.
Job repented for questioning God. Because Job had spoken out of ignorance to question God’s fairness, he humbly repented and retracted all of his prior complaints against God: “4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ 5 I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; 6 Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:4-6). Job acknowledged that God had twice challenged him to answer His questions (Job 38:3; 40:7). He could not answer. By repeating God’s Word, Job had the faith to make a full repentance: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Ro. 10:17). Job had now shown full repentance. This included a change in his (1) mind, (2) heart, and (3) life. By doing this, he also demonstrated that Satan had falsely slandered him. Job did not need God’s blessings before he would worship God as Satan had alleged (Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5). Job had also defended God from Satan’s claims and established that humanity was worth saving.
Repent of your sins. Even Job could not offer a defense before God. Like Job, Isaiah also knew that he was an unclean man when he stood in God’s presence: “Then I said, ‘Woe to me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of armies.”’ (Is. 6:5). Because we as sinners cannot be in God’s holy presence, Jesus began His ministry with a call for all of mankind to repent of its sins and turn back to God. “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 4:17). Jesus came “saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”’ (Mk. 1:15). His disciples also began their ministry with a call to repentance: “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”’ (Acts 2:38). If you say that you are without sin, the Bible says that the truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). What sins do you need to repent of?
We must wash our sins by reading the Word and confessing our sins. Jesus also makes it clear that believers need to be washed even after we have been saved. At the Last Supper, Peter initially refused Jesus’ offer to wash his feet. Jesus responded by rebuking him: “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” (Jo. 13:8). Peter then asked Jesus to wash his feet, hands, and head. Jesus responded: “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet.” (Jo. 13:10). In other words, Jesus died once for our sins, but our flesh gets dirty each day and must still be washed. We read God’s Word to first expose our sins: “so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .” (Eph. 5:26). We then confess the sins that the Word reveals to us (1 Jo. 1:9). Are you reading the Word to cleanse yourself and confessing the sins of your daily life?
The Jews also praised God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Jews celebrated that God forgave their sins, despite their stiff-necked and rebellious nature: “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;”’ (Ex. 34:6; 33:19; Nu. 19:18). “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Dt. 4:31). “You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy; and You did not abandon them.” (Neh. 9:17). Are you praising God for His mercy and grace in your life?
Give thanks that God’s faithfulness is not dependent on your faithfulness. God remained faithful to His promise to never forsake the Jews: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6; 4:31; Heb. 13:5). ‘“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”’ (Is. 43:25). He was faithful even when the Jews rebelled against Him (Neh. 9:18-19). You can also give thanks that His faithfulness is not conditioned upon your faithfulness: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). Have you given thanks that God will not use your sins to revoke His promises to you?
God rebuked Job’s friends for their lack of love and ordered them to atone for their sins. After accepting Job’s repentance, God judged Job’s friends for misrepresenting Him to Job in his moment of need. He then ordered them to make an atonement for their sins: “7 It came about after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves,” (Job 42:7-8a). Job’s friends were likely surprised at this rebuke. All of God’s prior questions had been directed to Job alone. God likely singled out Eliphaz because he was the leader and the eldest of the three. Their sin was not in defending God to Job. It was in misrepresenting Him to be cold and unloving and for slandering Job with invented sins. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. . . We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 Jo. 4:8, 16). “The verdict that is spoken against the friends of Job is based rather on the tone and spirit of what they have said than on any of their actual words, for many of these are conspicuous for their wisdom, truth, and beauty.” (Ellicott’s Commentary on Job 42:7).2 Job had also previously warned the three that they were slandering God: “Will you speak what is unjust for God, and speak what is deceitful for Him?” (Job 13:7).
God rebuked Job’s friends3
The possible reasons for God’s decision to not mention Elihu. God’s decision not to mention Elihu has created confusion as to how to view Elihu’s attacks against Job. Elihu largely repeated the three friends' attacks against Job (Job 32-35). Thus, endorsing his words would be the same as endorsing the words of Job’s friends. “Curiously, Elihu is not addressed by God in this final chapter. Some people think this is because Elihu was correct in what he said and was indeed God’s messenger to Job. Taking into account exactly what Elihu said, it is better to think that God did not answer him as a way of dismissing him altogether.” (David Gizuk on Job 42:7).4 One possibility is that God spared him because he praised God as the storm clouds with God’s presence approached (Job 37). Another possibility is that he carried a lesser sin because he was just a bystander and not one of Job’s friends: “And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, yet they had condemned Job.” (Job 32:3). Job’s friends knew that Job was blameless. They also failed to love their friend.
True repentance requires a blood atonement. God ordered the three to make a blood atonement because His forgiveness could not occur without it: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Lev. 17:11). “And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb. 9:22). Why didn’t God also order Job to make a blood atonement? Buying the unblemished animals needed for the sacrifice was expensive. God had created a less expensive path for the poor to atone for their sins (Lev. 5:11). But Job literally had nothing. One possibility is that their blood atonement also covered Job’s prior sins. But Ezekiel suggests another possibility. Job may have been one of just three humans before Jesus who could make an atonement through their just repentance: ‘“even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only save themselves,’ declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezek. 14:14).
Praise God that He loved you enough to send His only begotten son to die for you. Thankfully, we no longer need to make a blood sacrifice to atone for our sins. God loved you enough to send His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins (Jo. 3:16). His perfect sacrifice forever fulfilled the requirement of the blood sacrifice: “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14). Yet, Jesus’ sacrifice for you came at an enormous cost. How are you thanking Him (Ro. 12:1-2)?
Through faith in the atonement, intercession and reconciliation with God is possible. God then promised to accept the intercessory prayers of His servant Job on their behalf: “and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.’” (Job 42:8b). God’s Words pointed toward our need for an intercessor.
Jesus is our intercessor before God the Father. Although Job was a sinner, he foreshadowed Jesus, who intercedes daily on behalf for those who have faith in His sacrifice. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim. 2:5). “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (1 Jo. 2:1). Because of Jesus, you can now boldly approach the throne of grace to pray for others: “Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.” (Heb. 4:16). How are you praising Jesus for what He does for you daily?
Jesus will forgive your sins when you confess them. Just as God promised to Job’s friends, Jesus promises to forgive your sins if you confess them: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). He not only forgives sins, He will remember the sins no more: “I, I alone, am the one who wipes out your wrongdoings for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Is. 43:25). God forgave and forgot Job’s sinful words.
Forgive others the way Jesus has forgiven you. Job initially struggled with his misguided friends. But he forgave them. Jesus also warns that you must forgive others to be able to receive God the Father’s forgiveness: “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matt. 6:14-15). “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” (Mk. 11:26). Thus, if you are looking for God’s forgiveness, don’t delay in forgiving others.
Pray as an intercessor for others. Before his trials, Job had practiced a life of intercessory prayers in case his children had sinned (Job 1:5). Here, he did the same for his friends. In a prophetic moment, Eliphaz spoke of the power of a righteous man to restore another: “He will rescue one who is not innocent, and he will be rescued due to the cleanness of your hands.” (Job 22:30). Just as Job forgave and prayed for his friends, we are also called to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.” (Jam. 5:16). “If anyone sees his brother or sister committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will, for him, give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death; I am not saying that he should ask about that.” (1 Jo. 5:16). Are you praying as an intercessor for those who are lost spiritually or trapped in bondage to sin?
In your worship, give thanks for God’s mercy and grace. No one can demand the right to be forgiven. Thus, your worship should also give thanks for your undeserved mercy and grace: “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;”’ (Ex. 34:6). “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” (Ps. 86:5). “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” (Ps. 103:8). “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate.” (Ps. 116:5). How are you thanking God for His mercy and grace in your life?
Job and his friends submitted and obeyed God. Job and his friends followed the process of atonement by faith without question: “9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job.” (Job 42:9). Although Job’s friends had acted in a callous manner toward Job, they did not try to defend themselves. Instead, they submitted to God’s will.
Obedience is the fruit of your faith and your conversion. You cannot earn your salvation through obedience. If that were the case, Jesus died needlessly on the cross (Gal. 2:21). Yet, Spirit-led obedience is the fruit of your faith and your transformation. Without obedience, your faith is dead (Jam. 2:14-26). Also, if you know the Word and still refuse to obey, Jesus is not really the Lord over your life: “Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves.” (Ja. 1:22). Jesus is also the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Ex. 3:14; Jo. 8:58). Although you are no longer judged under the Law, Jesus reveals that you show your love for Him when you keep His Commandments voluntarily: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (Jo. 15:10). “[I]f you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17). Whether you keep His Commandments out of love (and not obligation) is also the test regarding whether you “know” Him: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). Are you rebelling against Jesus in any area?
God restored Job’s friendships. After interceding for his friends, God also restored Job. The most important thing that God restored was the joy of fellowship that Job had lost: “10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 12 The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.” (Job 42:10-12). The end of the book of Job is frequently remembered for how God blessed Job by doubling his physical possessions and restoring his health. But God does not always promise to restore your physical possessions or your health. That restoration may not take place until you reach heaven. But God does offer the joy of the Holy Spirit. Among other things, God restored the joy of fellowship that Job had lost with his friends.
God restored Job’s friends to help him recover from his trauma and losses5
Job’s friends helped him endure his grief from his lost children6
Job had become the object of public scorn and abandonment. Job’s friends had all turned on him, assuming that he was hiding terrible sins. “My friends are my scoffers; . . .” (Job 16:20a). Children feared him with his open sores across his body: “Even young children despise me; I stand up and they speak against me.” (Job 19:18). His brothers and acquaintances had abandoned him: “He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances have completely turned away from me.” (Job 19:13). Even his wife found him to be repulsive: “My breath is offensive to my wife, and I am loathsome to my own brothers.” (Job 19:17). Here, God restored the friendships that Job had lost.
Job’s friends uplifted him with the grief that remained. The Bible records that Job’s friends “comforted him for all the adversities”. (Job 42:11). Even with Job’s wealth and his health restored, the ten children who died at the beginning of his trials were not restored to him on Earth. Job would have likely traded his wealth and his health to have them back. His need for ongoing comfort showed that his grief over his children had not gone away. Yet, with his friends, he could find joy in fellowship with others. This was likely God’s way of helping Job to move forward as opposed to forgetting his children. “Job had ‘sown in tears’ and now he ‘reaped with joy.’ (Ps. 126:5.)” (Robert Alden, The New American Commentary, Vol. 11, Job (B&H Publishing Group 1993) p. 413).
God will uplift you when you put your complete trust in Him. Because he believed that he was being punished, Job previously claimed that he “dare not lift up [his] head.” (Job 10:15). Now, God allowed him to lift his head again with confidence : “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “I will exalt You, LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.” (Ps. 30:1). “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk. 21:28). If he does not honor you here, Jesus will honor you in heaven: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6).
God’s restoration may also be material. God also restored Job’s fortunes two fold (Job 42:10-12). The number of animals that he received doubled what he had before his trial (Job 1:3). God can sometimes bless believers with wealth. For example, God financially blessed Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 24:1), Isaac (Gen. 26:12), Jacob (Gen. 30:30, 43), Solomon (2 Chr. 1:12), and Hezekiah (2 Kgs. 18:7). But many of God’s servants lived in poverty. For example, Jesus did not even have a home (Matt. 8:20). In Job’s case, it was a blessing for his unique suffering for God’s sake: “This lavish restoration (double all he had) is not based on Job’s righteousness but on God’s love for him as one who had suffered the loss of all things for God’s sake and for no other reason. Here Job joined the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who ‘after the suffering of his soul sees ‘the light of life’ and is given ‘a portion among the great’ and will divide the spoils with the strong’ (Isa. 53:11-12).” (Frank Gaebelein, Elmer Smick, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1, 2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Zondervan Publishing House 1988) p. 1056). Most will never suffer for the reasons Job did. Others might not receive a financial blessing if God knows that it would lead to coveting (1 Tim. 6:10). Thus, you should never expect God to bless you financially. Your inheritance may be in heaven.
God blessed Job and restored his material losses7
With faith, Jesus can also restore your lost health. Job had confessed God’s power to heal: “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” (Job 5:8). Satan could only touch his health with God’s permission (Job 2:6). Depending upon His greater plans for good (Ro. 8:28), God can either place a hedge of protection around your health, remove it, or restore it. Unless an exception applies, God promises to pour out His blessings on those who live in faith-led obedience (Dt. 28:1-2). This can include His promise to protect you from diseases and poor health (Ex. 15:26; Dt. 7:15; 32:39; Is. 30:26). “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3; 107:20). Unless an exception applies (as was the case with Job), God is faithful to bless.
God partially restored Job on Earth with the hope of a full restoration in heaven. God blessed Job with ten more children, a full life, and the hope of eternal life with Him: “13 He had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.” (Job 42:13-17). God had doubled Job’s wealth and restored his health (Job 42:10). His wife was also restored in her relationship with him. Because God was doubling what Job had, some may observe that his children did not double. He previously had ten children, and he had ten more children after his trials (Job 42:13). But God gave Job the hope that he would be restored with his lost children in heaven. In heaven, he would have all his 20 children. Job also showed his righteousness in how he treated his daughters. He gave them an equal inheritance (Job 42:15). The Jews only gave women an inheritance if they had no brothers (Nu. 27:8).
The story of Job shows God’s faithfulness and the value of perseverance. Because Job endured, God blessed him. God’s restoration of Job also shows the richness of God’s mercy and grace: “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (Jam. 5:11). Just as God rewarded Job in his trials, He will reward you (and possibly restore you) when you persevere and trust God through your trials: “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the garbage heap to seat them with nobles, and He gives them a seat of honor as an inheritance; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He set the world on them.” (1 Sam. 2:8). “We are not all like Job, but we all have Job’s God. Though we have neither risen to Job’s wealth, nor will, probably, ever sink to Job’s poverty, yet there is the same God above us if we be high, and the same God with his everlasting arms beneath us if we be brought low; and what the Lord did for Job he will do for us, not precisely in the same form, but in the same spirit, and with like design.” (Charles Spurgeon on Job 42).8
Jesus offers the hope of eternal salvation as a reward for your faith. Jesus gave His life so that all who have faith in Him might live: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:11). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” (2 Tim. 1:10). “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life;” (Ro. 2:7). His blood is the symbol and proof of His covenant. “And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’” (Mk. 14:24; Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Jer. 31:31). What Jesus offers is also free (Ro. 6:26). He only requires your faith that He died on the cross for your sins. Thus, you have many reasons to praise Jesus.
Jesus will also reward your faith on Earth and in heaven. In addition to the reward of eternal life, Jesus also promises to bless you in many other ways. He promises to bless you with the Holy Spirit as a down-payment on your salvation (Eph. 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:22). And, in addition to blessings on Earth through the Spirit, He promises five kinds of crowns in heaven. First, those who persevere in the face of trials will receive a crown of life: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Ja. 1:12; ; Rev. 2:10). Second, those who live a pure life while waiting for His return will receive a crown of righteousness: “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8). Third, those who exercise self-control will receive an “incorruptible crown” (1 Cor. 9:25-27). Fourth, elders, pastors, teachers, leaders, and shepherds of God’s flock will also receive “a crown of glory” (1 Pet. 5:4). Finally, those who help lead others to Christ will receive a “crown of rejoicing” (1 Thess. 2:19; ). Jesus also promised various conditional blessings in the beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12). He also promised “rewards” for those who store up their treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20). These are among the examples of blessings that are unrelated to your salvation. Other kinds of rewards on Earth include a prolonged life (Dt. 5:32-33). Have you given thanks for Jesus’ many undeserved gifts in your life and the many undeserved gifts that await you in heaven?
During your trials, turn to Jesus for your hope and peace
Jesus also promises eternal peace and rest. Although you live in a fallen world with pain, Jesus promises an eternity without pain: “for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17). “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4; Is. 25:8; 65:19). If you are mourning the loss of a believer, you can take comfort that they have found peace.
Let God use your trials to build up your faith. God tested Job so that he would have a deeper understanding and trust in Him. He also learned that not all suffering is a punishment. Your trials should also produce perseverance and endurance in your faith: “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Ro. 5:3; Jam. 1:2-3; 2 Cor. 1:8-10). “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” (Ro. 12:12). “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” (Heb. 10:36). During your trials, do you turn to Jesus to build up your faith?