“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).

Oswald Chambers, speaking to British troops in Egypt in 1916, said, “The Bible and our common sense agree that the basis of human life is tragic.” He was expounding on the book of Job.

The longer we live, the more we recognize the sobering reality that life is tragic. Why? In Job, we see fascinating glimpses into what’s really going on. We read dialogue between God and Satan that makes us realize that what’s happening in our lives and around the world has spiritual dimensions far beyond what we can see. Both our heavenly Father and the enemy of our souls are at work in the midst of our troubles and grief.

“Without any warning,” Chambers writes, “Job’s life is turned into desperate havoc and God keeps out of sight. The odds are desperately against God and it looks as if the sneer of Satan will prove to be true; but God wins in the end, Job comes out triumphant in his faith in God, and Satan is completely vanquished.”

When we are bewildered by events and all we believe about God is threatened, do we stand firm? Job took the full brunt of Satan’s attacks, yet refused to turn on God. “Though he slay me,” he said, “yet will I trust him.” In the maddening mysteries of life, God is enigmatic yet still faithful. In turn, he calls us to be faithful and—when the going gets grim—to hang on to his promises and pray.

Adapted from One Year Book of Encouragement