The test of a person’s character is not what he does when everything’s going well, but how he responds to loss. When most of us think about loss in the Bible, the first person that comes to mind is Job. We’ve heard the story before: One day the angels presented themselves before God, and Satan came to the meeting. God asked Satan if he had considered Job’s spotless character. Satan said he believed Job was only walking uprightly because of God’s blessing in his life; so God allowed Satan to take all of Job’s possessions, including his 10 children. Job grieved over his loss, but he refused to become angry with God about it. He decided to praise God.

God called another meeting of angels together, and He once again reminded Satan about Job’s spotless character. Satan didn’t want to hear it. He believed Job could be broken if God applied more pressure; so God allowed Satan to take Job’s health away, leaving him a barely recognizable shell of his former self.

With all of Heaven watching, Job responded with a hope which reached past his circumstances and pain. His faith allowed him to see God, as we read in today’s Scripture passage. Even though Job hated the misery God had allowed in his life, God was his Hope. That Hope carried him through his hardships.

We will all face difficulties in life. There will be painful losses and disappointments we don’t think we can possibly survive. The good news is, as Christians, we have hope in Christ: hope that our Redeemer lives; hope that He will see us through our trials; hope that someday we will see Him for ourselves.

For every pain there is a brighter hope — resurrection after death, healing after hurting, strength after weakness, joy after sorrow. If you concentrate on your hope in the middle of your pain, it will be a lot easier to make it through the hardship. Now use it to comfort someone else in a similar predicament.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder