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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
There is another aspect to Job’s story that he is never privy to. There is a dialogue about him between God and Satan where God holds him up as an example of righteousness and Satan becomes determined to bring him down, intent not on destroying his life as much as he wants to destroy his relationship with God. But throughout all this, God knows the heart of his servant, the character of Job, what he will be able to endure, and what the ultimate outcome would be.
In the end, this is God’s own commendation of Job—that he was a man who was upright and feared God, a man who rejected evil. He held fast his integrity in the face of unimaginable grief and suffering. He didn’t let his circumstances change his relationship with God because it was not built upon those things he had or what God had given to him. He did not love and serve God simply because God blessed him, but he loved and served God because He is God and is worthy of that. He had ordered his life around God, with Him at the center, and all else was just on the periphery.
But what about us? Do we hold fast our integrity when we face hardship, loss, devastation, the attacks of the devil himself? Is our faith intact at the end of our trial? Is our character unchanged by our circumstances? Or is it that these kinds of situations reveal that we are trusting in something other than God? Do the devastating experiences of life where things we value are taken away reveal that our relationship with God is based more on what He gives us and does for us and not simply who He is?
Satan doesn’t fight fair. His attacks are personal. And it’s not really that he wants to hurt us for the sake of causing us to suffer, but his ultimate goal is to destroy our character, our testimony, our integrity, our relationship with God. And he knows he can use those kinds of attacks to achieve that goal. If we faced what Job did, wouldn’t it be easy to doubt God, to wonder about His goodness and His love for us? What is God’s evaluation of us after we’ve endured some attack by Satan? Did we withstand the devil? Did we remain committed to God despite those circumstances? May it be that we continue to trust God and remain faithful no matter what the devil and this world may throw at us.