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Keep On Doing Right

Photo Credit: Mark Shutt

(By Angela Watson)

What comes to mind when you think of Job? Likely it’s the suffering that he went through or perhaps his great riches, but as I’ve been reading this book, I’ve been struck by Job’s integrity.

From the first verse to the closing chapter we see Job’s integrity before God and man. The book opens describing his character: “There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil” (Job 1:1). And in the closing chapter, God commissions Job to pray for his friends and acclaims Job’s character by saying, “My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has” (Job 42:8b).

From these opening verses on Job’s character, it is no surprise that we read about how blessed Job is. However, we often falsely believe that when we honor God, we will receive blessings without suffering.

This belief can make it difficult to understand that Job’s suffering happens because of his integrity. It’s his integrity that brings him directly into Satan’s cross hairs. But as we read the first chapter closely, we see that God placed Job in Satan’s path.

“Then the Lord asked Satan, ‘Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil’” (Job 1:8).

God is the one who directs Satan’s attention to Job because of his character. Using the same faulty thinking we can fall into, Satan declares that Job fears God only because he has been protected and blessed by God. Given enough suffering and adversity, Job would curse God to his face (Job 1:11).

For the remaining part of the chapter and into the next, we see God permit Job’s character to be proven. What a test! Satan’s only limit is to spare Job’s life.

As Satan does all he can to compromise Job’s integrity, we see the depth of Job’s faith in God as he responds to the catastrophic events of losing his children, his property, and even his health.

“He said, ‘I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!’ In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God” (Job 1:21-22).

I don’t know about you, but Job’s expression of faith in these verses challenges me. As we read the following 25 chapters, we see Job question God without a response and without understanding why he is suffering. His wife and his friends provide no support or comfort. Instead, they discourage and blame Job for his circumstances.

Job did not hide from the pain he was going through but acknowledged his condition and position before God. His resolve to maintain his integrity as long as God gave him breath is an encouragement for us to keep doing what is right.

“I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul. As long as I live, while I have breath from God, my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live” (Job 27:2-5).

In 1 Peter 4:19, Peter writes:

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

Perhaps you are suffering and have someone in your life, like Job’s wife, who is bitter against God (Job 2:9). They would rather see you lose your faith and walk away from God than maintain your trust in God’s faithfulness.

Dear friend, keep on doing right.

Or perhaps you have someone in your life who, like Job’s friends, insists that you are to blame for your suffering and the circumstances you are going through. (Job 4:6-9)

Dear friend, keep on doing right.

I pray these words and the example of Job will bring you comfort and encourage you to continue to live with integrity despite your circumstances. The God who created you will never fail you.


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