It seems like some guys travel through life and never have to face very many steep challenges. They live what we refer to as the "charmed life." Others, it seems, are in a continual uphill climb, constantly facing one challenge after another--none of them easy. Then you have guys like Job. He is a "charmed-life" person. When he first enters the pages of Scripture, he is obviously a very blessed men--sons, daughters, houses, cattle and sheep, just to name a few. Then all hell breaks loose (literally, straight from the hand of satan himself). Cattle gone. Sheep gone. Servants gone. Kids gone. Everything in one day, snatched from his hands. Talk about heartache and pain.
Job's prayer is a surprising one in Job 1:21. Its words are echoed in one of my favorite praise songs:
You give and take away, you give and take away. Still my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name.
That prayer...that song...this perspective comes from a heart that is fully centered on Christ. There is no other way to explain it. If his wealth or even his family had been Job's identity, he would have never been able to proclaim praise in the face of overwhelming oppression. But he did. The Bible says that "in all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."
What about you? Where is your heart's focus? Could you proclaim that, in spite of the hurt and oppression, God is still God and His name is still worth praising? The time to decide to live rightly is now, before the storms hit. In the midst of those storms, what you cling to will show. It did for Job.