The story of Job is a very provocative story. Many people don’t have the slightest idea what this story is about. Others marvel that it is just a story of suffering; although Job is restored, they find no real purpose in what he has suffered. Even I never thought I would appreciate the story of Job. Who wants to suffer? The bigger story to me is the point of view God has of him. Can you imagine God bragging about you to the devil? Job’s ultimate compliment is: he held on to his integrity. The word integrity is a powerful one. It implies a person’s moral innocence and, at the same time, soundness of character. The third aspect of the definition of the word means to be complete or whole. Although this is not a New Testament word, it is demonstrated through the word “perfect.” The Bible tells us we should aspire to go on to “perfection” once we have established the foundation of our Christian experience.
In Romans 12, it talks about the “perfect” will of God. I remember a common bumper sticker a few years back that said, “Christians aren’t perfect, we are forgiven.” This was a slogan many people found comfort in because we are often more aware of our weaknesses than our strengths. Although it is very comforting to know of the mercy of God, we should never let that be an excuse to stay where we are and not move forward in God. If we love God, we should aspire to fulfill His purpose in our life. This is also true if we love the people around us, because they need a witness of the power of the Lord. This is what Job was to the world, but also to the heavenly sphere. Many people overlook this concept, but God’s eternal purpose is to demonstrate His wisdom through the church to the principalities and powers in high places.
Will You Take a Step Further?
Just like it was for Job, I believe it is true today—God is looking for the witness who will demonstrate integrity to the world. This is not just about doing the right thing as it pertains to God, but reaching our full potential as the people of God. Completeness for each of us is the individual call and purpose we have in life. Taking this a step further, what we do is about being who we are called to be. When you read the book of Job, you will see that his integrity impacted every area of his life. When his trials were especially severe that they began to impact his family, Job’s wife said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Some helpmate he had! Of course she was suffering right along with him, but a person of integrity knows their response is not based on the influences around them. A person of integrity has something on the inside that sustains them.
Job also understood his life was not just in the natural realm, but the spiritual realm. His relationship with God was the inner compass of his life that helped him stand strong in the midst of adversity. For Job, the end of the story led to a greater spiritual perspective of God. He said, “I used to know by the hearing of the ears, but now my eyes have seen.” (Job 42:5) We are living in a time when the world needs the people of God to be people of integrity. Because of this, God is raising up a people of integrity. You may be one of those in process going through a time of struggle. However, just like it was for Job, God wants you to know that you may have tribulation, but at the end of your struggle, you will see something in God you have never seen before. This will strengthen you on the inside. This process will complete you. You will be His witness!