Pillars of Patience

Pillars of Patience

Written by Becca Harris

The first two chapters of Job are simultaneously some of the most gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring texts in the Bible. Job seemingly had it all: wealth, fortune, family…what we would call the American dream. He also loved the Lord.

The text begins by describing how highly God thought of Job: “Perfect and upright”. Then it shifts to a description of the suffering that Job endured at the hand of Satan. He insinuates that it’s easy for Job to love the Lord, because he has it all. To be fair, we have probably all had similar sentiments to Satan in this text. We have probably looked at someone else and thought, “They have it so good, so easy. Of course they always seem happy!”

We quickly see that everything but the Lord is fleeting. In one conversation, Job finds out that he lost his animals, his livelihood, his servants, and his own children. Stop and think about what a devastating loss he endured. It would threaten to completely crush any of us.


Job “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

How often, in the face of trials, do we fall down and worship, and affirm what God has allowed to take place? I do not always respond this way.

How often, in the face of trials, do we fall down and worship?

A second response is from Job’s wife. After seeing all that has happened to Job, she says, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” While this seems harsh, I think a lot of us might think this way if put in these circumstances. Our anger, frustration, disappointment and heartbreak seep out of us in questions to God. But Job trusted the Lord.

Circling back, we know the thoughts God had toward Job: “Perfect and upright.” That did not mean that Satan “walk[ing] about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), wouldn’t tempt Job. It meant that God loved Job and knew he would come out refined by fire, that he would forever be remembered as a pillar of patience in tribulation recorded in His holy Word, that would encourage believers for the rest of time. So, He allowed it.

And He has good purposes for what He allows in our lives, too.

When we are tempted or tried, will we respond as Job, or as his wife? If we truly trust that every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17), we should be able to bow our hearts and ask, as Job did, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job 2:10

God, help our faith to be tied to You alone, and not our worldly gifts from You. Refine us for Your purpose, that the world might see us as pillars of patience in tribulation, all glory to God.

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