If your faith cannot be tested, it cannot be trusted. A reward does not come without labor and blessings don't come without a struggle. As Jesus Christ was preparing to lay down his life, he told his disciples that he must go as it was beneficial for them. The first part of his life had to be surrendered in order for something better to begin.
When looking at the trial of Job, many things have been said. Ultimately all that matters was what God said in the beginning.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
God gave a ringing endorsement of Job while Satan desired to bring accusations against him. It is important that we drown out our own thoughts and hold on to what the word of God declares about us in the midst of our troubles.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
When things go wrong, it's common to seek out external sources. This actually works to our detriment as we look for confirmation to validate what we may already believe in our hearts. Job had to block out everything from his wife to his friends as he waited out his storm. No one can or should dictate your personal trial to you. Take it to God and let him make things clear.
God lifted his veil of protection off of Job because he knew his child. He knew that Job loved and feared him and when you fear God, you lack none of the strength required to overcome seemingly insurmountable tasks. Satan used everything in Job's life to try to get him give up on God. As bad as it was, none of it ever had a chance against Job because God knew his child. This was his will and it is always his will be done. God is a good God. He has a reason.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Suffering teaches us about ourselves. It brings things to the surface which may not have been readily seen under normal circumstances. From the things we mask in guilt to hidden strength we never knew we had. Even in our suffering, God is able to give us wisdom that sustains us. In our affliction, we learn to seek God more clearly.
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
How should we respond?
There is no "right" way to answer this. Being in physical or emotional pain may lead us to pointing the finger at God at times. Think of it this way...God is our strength. So, coming against him is coming against our own strength. When the Israelites railed against God out of frustration, he sent fiery serpents against them. They repented and God healed them with the bronze image of that which had previously been destroying them. When sin dies in us, we live.
Even in death, there is life. Knowing that we live should give us great reason to rejoice. Yes, God may give us an impossible task but he will also give us the means to accomplish it by faith. How many people can say they did the impossible? Many disciples were honoured that God thought them worthy enough to take on a God level challenge. Persecution comes with picking up our cross but so does victory. Everything in its due time. God will deliver.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Without suffering, we would not receive the fullness God's grace. God stands with the oppressed as the comforter brings comfort to those in need. There is a glory that we have within us that can only be revealed if we shed a layer off of us first.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
We hold God's treasure on earth. All good treasure must first be tried in the fire to purify it of anything that would render it imperfect. The Lord is coming back for a church without spot or blemish, so he has to remove all our blemishes now.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Let patience have it's perfect work. While suffering tests our faith, it also strengthens our faith as we endure. Our reward is not of this earth but greater. The reward is waiting for us on the other side of the struggle. Be encouraged. Be blessed.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him