If there is any “quit” within us, you can bet the enemy will find the chink in our armor and camp out there until we give in. Especially during these times we have a choice: to allow him to win the battle or to depend upon our Lord.
Job was in financial ruin, his ten children had died, and he was afflicted with a painful disease (1:13–19; 2:7). In the midst of these trials, he sought to understand why he had to suffer so much. His three friends believed his suffering was God’s punishment for his sins (4:7–9; 8:4–7). But Job rejected their accusations and sought an answer from God (23:1–5). God seemed absent (vv. 8–9), yet in a moment of raw faith, Job expressed his intuitive conviction that God was testing him to prove the purity of his character. Job entrusted himself to God’s ways and drew strength from His Word. “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:10–12).
Perhaps you feel bad about a trial you are facing. God allows us to undergo these times of testing to toughen our spiritual muscles and endurance. He teaches us to rely on Him, and purifies us to be holy, so that we become more like Christ.
No wonder the psalmist could praise God for refining the Israelites through fire and water (Ps. 66:10–12) as they suffered in slavery and exile. God not only preserved them and brought them to a place of great abundance, but also purified them in the process.
As we go through testing, we can rely on God for strength and perseverance. He is refining us through our toughest moments. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Is. 40:31)
God tests us to show the quality of our faith (Prov. 17:3; Isa. 48:10; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:6–7; 4:1–13). “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (vv 3:13-14)