There are times in life when God seems absent and we want to ask Him, "Where were you with that one, God?" Five years ago this month my cousin was killed in a car accident on his way to an amusement park with his girlfriend; they were going there to celebrate his birthday. In his mid-twenties, his life was taken from him, and it left the rest of the family asking the question: Where are you, God? Why do you allow things like this to happen? Isn't that a question we all face from time to time?
Why do husbands cheat on wives? Why do jobs end? Why do people have to battle cancer? In such situations we attribute the blame to God because we know that he could step in and change the outcome… but many times He doesn't. Some people have lost their faith because of their inability to comprehend how a loving God could allow adversity and evil in the world. In order for good to exist, however, evil must also have a place. We cannot know something is good unless we can tangibly see bad, just as we can't experience joy if we haven't experienced its opposite: despair.
The incredible character of Job is particularly challenging to us when we face trying circumstances. Despite the difficulty, Job spoke the following: "My foot has held fast to [God’s] steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside" (23:11) The Bible often speaks of challenging circumstances in life molding us into the people God wants us to be. He does not necessarily hold responsibility for such circumstances, but He allows them to burn away our inferior qualities and to develop perseverance. James teaches us that perseverance’s goal is to bring completeness to us so we are not lacking anything. The ultimate completeness will come when we reach eternity. Another great lesson taught by the life of Job.