If you have ever heard the story of Job, you know that Job had to face much adversity in his life. But in order to understand the significance of this story, we must first look at Job’s life before he faced tragedy. Job 1:2-3 says, “There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (ESV) God allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to tempt Job to lose his faith in God. Job lost his property and children, his animals, and his health. Despite all this, Job responded, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21, ESV)
The big question many people ask when looking at the story of Job is why God allowed Satan to take these things from Job. Is it really fair that Job would be so faithful, yet God would just allow his life to fall apart in this matter? Maybe this sounds like your life. You feel as if you are faithful to God, yet things in your life continue to fall apart. Maybe life is taking its toll on you. Take heart, this happened to Job as well, yet he stayed in faith. One who has experienced a similar situation is left to ask, “How did Job keep his faith despite his fallen circumstances?”
The answer to this question is revealed in where Job placed his joy. Job did not place the stability of his joy in things that are unstable. Job didn’t receive his joy from his oxen, his servants, his barn, his health, or even from his family! The joy of the LORD was his strength, and all of these extra things were added to him. So when something was taken away from him, Job did not lose his stability, because his stability was placed in the Lord. God knew this about Job, which was why He allowed Satan to tempt him. God knew that no matter what Satan took away from Job, as long as he had his life (See Job 2:6), he would have joy in Himself. God cares more about changing your circumstances than He does about changing you. That’s not to say that God doesn’t care about your circumstances, but that your joy should not rely on them.
When we put our reliance for joy in things of this world, we are vulnerable to the attacks of Satan to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. But when we discover and live out our joy in the Cross, Satan is unable to overcome it. This is why Nehemiah proclaimed for times of trouble, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10, ESV)
Hunter Kallay, author of "Plug in Your Life." He is a Christian leader and speaker.