Can’t you see Job glow as he remembers the days when he was not only blessed, he was lavishly blessed? “Oh that I were as in months past” (Job 29:2). Those were the days when he was surrounded by his lovely children and his abundant wealth splashed upon the ground. It seemed inexplicable blessings burst from the most unlikely of places (Job 29:5-6), but Job was attentive to not overindulge in his blessings. He was the champion for the mistreated. He attended the needs of the derelict. Truly, God’s description of Job from the opening chapters are verified by his personal account. “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” (Job 1:8)?
Why do bad things happen to good people? This is often a thorny question the critics toss out to believers. There are two big assumptions in that question. First, you are generalizing “bad” as anything which opposes your personal plan. There have been people who experienced a bad accident, but while they were in the hospital doctors noticed a tumor upon which they operated and spared that person’s life. So was the accident a bad thing? The second big assumption is we are good people. However, we know this is not the case. The Bible records it three times, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Romans 3:10-12).
The truth is we live in a world which man perverted with his decision to define morality their own way. All of creation has been tortured and “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). We will feel the effects of a fallen environment. However, God allows us to endure such moments because we learn something about him we would not know unless we walked through the experience. The formula for life is to appreciate the past, accept the present, and attain the prize (Philippians 3:14). “Anything that makes us need God is a blessing” (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)!
“God delights to increase the faith of his children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hands as a means. Trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith” (George Muller).
We often enjoy reflecting on the past, those good ol’ days. Yes, it’s enjoyable especially when we are facing a struggle today! James tells us to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2). Paul says, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Although we never seek out complications and trials, we must never forget God is growing us into maturity. You’ve probably told a child to eat his vegetables so he will grow strong. Difficulties are the “very food of faith.”