Here’s what the ancient book teaches us: Godliness cannot help us escape suffering. Even righteous people can be severely tested. This may be a hard-to-swallow-bitter-pill but that’s the truth. 

Many use religion to secure their well-being. They are willing to strictly adhere to rules laid out in the belief system. There’s nothing wrong in wanting good things to enjoy a good life. But wait, there is a difference between trusting in God’s providence and trying to wrap God around your finger.

God is not a puppet you can control

Many would gladly add God to their list of life resources. They seek to avail a list of  “saving services” and try to negotiate a contract on their own terms. Many prefer to have God as their financial advisor or a bodyguard. 

We think we can control God but sooner or later, especially when tragedy strikes, we find out God is no one’s puppet. 

God cannot be used to get what you want

God cannot be used to get what you want

Sadly, many use religion as a way to “arm-twist” God. We find what God wants and then try to trade it to earn His favour. Most people think they have figured out a way to get around God.

But can God be “manipulated”? No, never! How foolish of us to think we can hoodwink God. How can you satisfy the one who owes nothing and has no needs whatsoever (Jam. 1:17; Phil. 1:29). And then, what can we give to the One who is the giver of all the good things including “saving faith”? 

God is God and that is who He is


The book of Job makes it clear that spiritual practices, such as fasting, offering sacrifices, praying, being godly, or learning theology cannot make us immune to suffering. It can’t guarantee safety, be it finance, health or family life.

Sometimes, it’s so easy to make fiery speeches about our devotion to God and His wondrous works. But, the real test for the strength of our belief is when we experience suffering.

The Book of Job presents a simple message: Godliness cannot be used to get to all that you want. Will we ever realise that we can’t bargain with God? God is God.

What is the hope of the godless when he is cut off,
When does God require his life?
Will God hear his cry
When distress comes upon him?
Will he take delight in the Almighty?
Will he call on God at all times?

(Job 27:8–10) Adapted from Tim Rasulov’s book, Worshiping in the Darkness
Photo by Aysegul Yahsi on Unsplash; Photo by Oksana Manych on Unsplash; 
Master of Biblical Counseling, Minister of the Transfiguration Church (Samara, Russia), author of the books Worship in the Dark, Chasing the Wind, Teach Me to Love, and others.