A wise man once said, “Conflict is never about what’s happening on the surface—there’s always much more at stake.” Chances are that Job would have agreed with that statement. He found himself thrust suddenly and forcefully into heartbreak of catastrophic proportions. His livestock, fields, servants, and children were all destroyed in one day.

In the midst of the turmoil, his wife urged him to curse God and die. Job wisely shunned this counsel, but he did demand an audience with God to plead his case (Job 13:3,15). When God finally responded, He did so with questions of His own (Job 38:1-2). Rather than receiving the answers he sought, Job encountered the sovereignty of God (Job 38:4). Humbly, he acknowledged that God’s ways were ultimately righteous and just—even if they were beyond his understanding (Job 42:1-3).

This reaction was proof of Job’s character—tested, but shining with a God-honoring radiance. Although he never knew it this side of eternity, Job was caught up in a fierce battle to test his faith and faithfulness. The tragedies that befell him were just a pretext for an attempt by Satan to get him to renounce his God and faith (Job 1:12).

While we have the benefit of the background to Job’s story, we rarely do when it comes to our own. And when we’re faced with a paradox of perplexing and unfair circumstances, there’s a strong temptation to denounce God’s justice. But instead of choosing to “curse God and die,” we can seek the heart of the God of the universe. As we encounter Him, our perspectives will be transformed and we’ll learn to trust His wisdom.

Only God knows the full story every time. As we rest in Him, He’ll use each chapter of our lives for our good and His glory.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 8:1-20