Verses 7 and 8 from Job chapter 1 say this:
The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”
This is one of the most striking passages in all of Scripture. Satan is wandering around, looking for something to do (prowling like a devouring lion perhaps?) and God willingly offers up Job to be tested. What a vivid reminder of the way the life on this world truly works for those who follow Christ. It’s never a question of if we suffer, but to what degree we will suffer, and so often in Scripture it seems that the more faithful the servant, like Job, the more intense the suffering.
I am constantly convicted about this. I expect that when I do good, God will be please and I will get good things. But that sort of thinking is so backwards. Jesus tells his disciples that the world will hate them, that if we do things right, we will absolutely suffer. This is all because the world is broken and sinful, and what is broken and sinful cannot stand to let that which is pure remain that way. But God has ensured that what is pure will be perfected and what is sinful will be destroyed. Nothing that we suffer on earth is forever. It is light and momentary. And God works it all out for our eternal good.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18 ESV)
God, help me to live with this in mind today, that though I may suffer for a little while, I will rejoice forever in You.