Many of you know the story of Job in the Bible. Just so suddenly, he lost his sons and daughters, his property, his fame, good health, and all others except his sick body! Job thought that all these were coming from God. "All was well with me, but He shattered me; He seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me His target." (Job 16:12) Job is saying that he is God's target and God is intentionally doing this to him somehow. Isn't that what we feel at times? When bad things happen, we are awestruck and not knowing what to do, but thinking that God is doing this to us! "My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes; yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure" (Job 16:16-17) This verse describes how painful it must have been for Job to be in this period of trial and suffering. Job continues his journey of struggles… with everything happening around him. His family is broken: His beloved children died and his wife tells him to curse God and die. (Job 2:9) His friendship is also broken: All of his friends now have become enemies. No one to hold onto. Lonely, frustrated, and dumbfounded. He has no idea why this is happening. God seems silent. But remember? It was not God but Satan who was behind all of this if you read Job chapter 1. We may wonder why did God allow Satan to test Job? God knew that Job was the one who would be on His side. "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil" (Job 1:8) What a great and honoring compliment from God to be calls as blameless.. Satan wanted to prove that wrong. "Does Job fear God for nothing?" (Job 1:9) God, you have given you so much and that is why Job serves you. He thinks of our relationship with God as conditional. He tells us that we serve God then we will be blessed in some tangible forms. Ultimately Satan is saying that humanity will not LOVE God because of who He is, but because of what He promises and gives. WRONG. God knew that Job does not serve Him because of what He gave Him. Satan's claim from the beginning is that God's laws are not necessary and He requires obedience that is not necessary. When God is desiring love from this, Satan does not see that as love but FEAR to obey God. Satan is accusing God right now in the face of all angels (Job1:6). God didn't have to allow the tests on Job but did, 1) KNOWING that Job will still be on His side and 2) so that other angels would not doubt and question about God's law and His characteristics like Satan! That is the thing about Job's story. God will NOT allow tests on those whom He does not trust! He knows we can handle it and prove Satan wrong, so He does. Here is what Job says in the next chapter in Job 17… "Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger" (Job 17:9) NEVERTHELESS. The righteous will hold to their ways. The ways of the righteous. Job knew that this was not the end. He knew that he can be STRONGER out of this. He was able to see something beyond what he sees or has right now. This may also apply to us, my friends. We may go through such hard times, wondering why God is doing this to us. Our God, however, is God of the universe who can do so much more than what we see or imagine here. He ultimately gave much more blessing to Job in the end! "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first" (Job 42:12) Yes, it took many years and 42 chapters for Job to come to this point. It required much patience and much INTERNAL struggle. But God was also with Him and was waiting for the moment to bless His beloved and blameless son again. He is so ready to meet you again, embrace you, and give you so much more. Satan is being defeated when we prove him wrong and say that we are still on God's side no matter what, not because of only good things around us and in our lives. Just like Job did, we can claim this and cling onto this. "Nevertheless, the righteous will hold on to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger" (Job 17:9) We claim that we hold onto our God who is righteous, who knows better than I do, who knows what is going on and why He had to allow such. And we will become stronger. It is our time to grow stronger with God in the face of this sinful world and the evil forces.