Brothers and sisters, I will like to share a testimony on why God allows severe trials in our lives and His goodness even in our most trying periods.
The Book of Job is a very good Scripture to study when you are going through trials that make you doubt God’s justice and goodness because Job himself suffered the most severe losses anyone can suffer: death of his family members, loss of wealth and property and loss of health. When he first suffered these losses, he was so full of faith that he humbled himself and said “Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked will I return. The LORD has given, the LORD had taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21) But then as time passed, after losing his health to a grievous sore, Job became bitter. His friends tried to comfort him but ended up rebuking him for his complaints against God, justifying God and attributing his sufferings to sin in his life. Job became even more bitter and called his friends miserable comforters. Yet God rebuked his friends for attributing his sufferings to sin and for not speaking the truth about why God allowed people who believe in Him to suffer. You may find some of Job’s complaints against God appalling because he was truly a devout man of God whom God Himself testified as blameless, fearing God and turning away from evil. (Job 1:8) But as apostle James wrote, God had compassion on Job (James 5:11), never once condemned him for his complaints against God and instead gave him double the blessing he had because of his endurance of those trials.
I myself went through 3 years of trials that was grievous to me. They were of course nothing compared to what Job suffered, but to me they were severe. I lost the things I personally treasured the most, my career and reputation. God had allowed me to encounter ungodly ex-bosses and ex-colleagues who not only treated me unjustly in terms of meagre pay and overworking but gone on to slander and spread lies about me, damaging my reputation and work relationships. I was forced to quit despite good work performance and ethics. This happened up until this year. Like Job I became bitter, even to the point I wanted to take my life. These trials brought back all the bad memories I had about my 28 years of life and how I was wronged by so many people in my life. I also had grave complaints against God like Job did, almost wanted to turn away from Him and seek revenge on those who wronged me.
But God in His mercy did not abandon me. After 3 years of bitterness, I finally came to understand why God allowed all these things into my life. In fact, I had a deeper revelation of just how much Jesus had done on the Cross for you and me.
So how did I come out of this bitterness? Through my tears and prayers to God, I was given a heart to feel that Jesus was in fact the only Person who suffered the greatest injustice in this world. We do suffer injustice on different levels, but none of us are innocent and sinless like Jesus. We each have sin in our lives that in some way will cause us to reap bad consequences. But Jesus deserved none of what He suffered, absolutely none. Yet what did He suffer as the most innocent Man to walk this earth?
In Isaiah, He was prophesied to be a man of SORROW. (Isaiah 53:3) Before He was even born, the wicked King Herod wanted Him dead. He had to run away from an attempt of MURDER on Him all the way to Egypt. He was born via Mary, who was still a virgin when He was in her womb. Since no one knows about His virgin birth, there were rumours and gossips about Him possibly being a child of fornication as Mary became pregnant before being married. In fact, when He disputed with the Pharisees and scribes about who was their father, they sarcastically insulted Him by saying “we are not illegitimate children” (John 8:41) So Jesus, by the time He was born was already facing SLANDER. When He was finally filled with the Spirit of God to preach the Gospel, He had no place to lay His head. He was living in a state of DEPRIVATION and had no permanent place of residence because people were either trying to kill Him or rejected Him. When He was about to be crucified on the Cross, He became so distressed that He SWEATED BLOOD. (Luke 22:44) He was eventually handed over to the Romans, even though being guiltless and without sin, was KILLED like a sinner.
It was with this revelation that I repented of my sins against God and stopped being bitter against Him. I did not just have a head knowledge of what Jesus suffered from reading the Scriptures, I felt sorrowful about His suffering inside. I suffered slander and know the pain of it, so I could relate that Jesus must have the same pain growing up. My suffering was so insignificant compared to what He endured.
Why did God allow me to lose my career and reputation? Because these things were becoming idols in my life and I was filled with pride about my abilities and talents. I graduated from the TOP 30 university in the world with a degree in accounting. I even earned a full time job offer with KPMG, one of the big 4 accounting firms, upon graduation. I was so proud of myself that God became second in my life. I was chasing after my own selfish ambitions, rather than God’s kingdom and righteousness. So God in His love, took those idols away from me so I would be humbled and return to Him. If I had continued on that path, I would not be able to enter the kingdom of God.
So I affirm that God will bring trials into your life, often trials that take away what you treasured most in this life, but it is out of His love for you. His ultimate goal and priority is to make you holy so you can dwell with Him forever in His kingdom, where “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) Not even the most prosperous person in this world has received anything as good as what God will give to those who love Him. So don’t turn away from God over the things in this world, they are not worth it. God Himself is more than enough for us.