Plans and Purposes

And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, [Job] is in your hand, but spare his life.” Job 2:6

For purposes of illustration it is helpful to compare Job and Jesus. Both were “blameless and upright” and both “feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1; Hebrews 4:15). And both were attacked by Satan (Job 1-2; Matthew 4:1-11). But there was one stark difference between the two: Job’s life was spared by God while Jesus was killed “by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).

What does that say? First, it says that God is in control. God allowed Satan to attack Job without taking his life while He allowed Satan’s attack on Jesus to culminate in His death. Second, it says that God’s purposes are different for different people at different times and in different circumstances. Obviously, it was God’s purpose for Jesus to die as a sacrifice for sin with the clear intent to raise Him from the dead as a sign of victory over Satan, sin, and death (Acts 2:24). Applying those two lessons to our lives, we have every good reason to trust in God when in the midst of trials in our life. He is in control; He has a purpose for our life.

Whether now or in the future, let trials strengthen your faith in God, not weaken it.

God has the sovereign right to do what He wishes, and no other explanation is necessary. John M. Frame

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