From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The Bible records the story of Job that illustrates someone who suffered greatly yet never turned his back on God. The phrase “the patience of Job” demonstrates the experience of Job’s triumphant attitude during his excruciating suffering that intruded his life. He lost his health, wealth, and children. His friends accused him and called into question his faith in God. Job’s wife tried to persuade him to turn from the Lord when she said, “Curse God and die!” Job replied: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity” (Job 2:10). In all of this, the Bible says, Job did not sin with his lips.
Job was reduced to sitting amidst the rubble of his once-prosperous life. After the loss of everything he held worthwhile, he still proclaimed: “Though He [God] slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). He was declaring his complete trust in his God. He later proclaimed: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25).
These words came from the lips of a man who was crushed from the suffering he had endured at the hands of Satan. Scripture gives us this towering model to follow in our attitude toward suffering. Despite his difficulties he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
God tested Job’s faith and refined his character. Job emerged from his ordeal a better and wiser man who exhibited such patience amidst the upheaval of life.
“Honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it” (Luke 8:15, NLT). Patience is one of the many attributes of God and He wants to perfect this in His people. Patience in our lives springs from God’s power based upon our willingness to learn it.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)