At this, Job got up and tore his robe, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22
The giant sequoia is generally well able to protect themselves against their natural threats, allowing them to survive for thousands of years. They are too massive to be blown over in the wind, and their bark is thick and rich in tannins, which protect them against fire and insect damage. Giant Sequoias can live more than 3000 years. Their durability has a lot to do with their ability to protect themselves against their natural threats. Sequoias can endure storms, fire, or insect infestation without extinction because their barks cross over each other and are deeply rooted in the earth, creating a three-dimensional netted structure. They remain unshakable in their durability despite the tempest they face.
Like the mighty sequoia, believers must develop unshakable faith so they can live victoriously through Christ as overcomers. But that process requires that we experience many storms. As stated by Philip Yancey, “human beings grow by striving, working, stretching; and in a sense, human nature needs problems more than solutions. Why are not all prayers answered magically and instantly? Why must every convert travel the same tedious path of spiritual discipline? Because persistent prayer, fasting, study, and meditation are designed primarily for our sakes, not for God's.”
Our faith must be tested so it can become unshakable. The faith of every prophet, patriarch, or apostle was tested by God at some point. While we marvel at their accomplishments and their relationship with God, they became spiritual giants because their faith was tested so they can develop unshakable faith.
In today’s text, Job is told about the death of his children and the destruction of all his property. In response he praised God. But throughout the rest of the book, Job struggled to understand why he experienced so many hardships. In the end, he realized that it was all working for his good and he become spiritually stronger and wealthier.
The great Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard said that Christians reminded him of schoolboys who want to look up the answers to their math problems in the back of the book rather than work them through...We yearn for shortcuts. But shortcuts usually lead away from growth, not toward it. We cannot mature spiritually without our job-like experiences. Only students who are tested and pass their test can go to the next level.
Job developed unshakable faith because he was shaken by his many sorrows. When the storms of life are shaking our lives, we must rely on our spiritual root system like the mighty sequoia tree. Our spiritual root is netted together in the Triune Godhead. As long as we remain deeply rooted in Christ Jesus, we cannot be blown over by the vicissitudes of life. Hardships are necessary for stronger faith. The greater our tests, the stronger our faith, the bigger our blessings, and the higher our elevation from God. So, when you feel as if you are being overcome by your trials, remember, they are only making your testimony more impactful and your faith unshakable.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why do you think Job did not curse God when they told him that all his children died?
What do you do when facing a very difficult situation?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for growing my faith through my many trials. Please help me to remain steadfast in my faith in you when the world seems to be collapsing around me. May my faith become unshakable when I am shaken by the vicissitudes of life!