"'All right, you may test him,' the Lord said to Satan. 'Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically.' So Satan left the Lord's presence." -Job 1:12
I wonder if God and Satan ever have the above conversation about you and I. Often things happen to us over which we have no control, that do not appear to be a consequence of any sin or action we have taken. It is true that doing the right thing doesn't always equal everything working out according to plan. God isn't a vending machine -- we can't make Him make things work out in our lives or earn our way to a blessed life. But, the Bible says we can trust Him that what He has promised will come to pass at the appointed time. (Habakkuk 2:3)
It is during the desert times when we are most tested in our hearts. Will we continue to believe that God loves us? Will we continue to believe and trust Him, in spite of what seems like a void of hope? Will we continue to do the right things, no matter what? It is these times when we are tested to see if we will be found resilient in our faith.
Job was tested so greatly, he lost his business, his family, and his health. His friends didn't understand what he was going through and assumed he had done something to offend God. Job also did not understand -- and questioned God as to why He had to go through such hardship, even though he thought he had done all the right things. God responded, "Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God's critic, but do you have the answers?" (Job 40:2) and Job repented. "I know that you can do anything... I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance." (Job 42)
Righteousness doesn't always equal lack of hardship. But resiliency in faith reserves our heavenly reward. Will you be found resilient in your faith?
Related resource: Kingdom Prayer: Touching Heaven to Change Earth by Tony Evans