Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For [he’s giving us the reason now], you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way...
“Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” Job 13:15
The best time to tell the Lord you love him is when you experience pain and loss or endure great difficulty.
There’s nothing surprising about a Christian who loves God when life is going well. But Christians who love God when his good gifts are taken away demonstrate to heaven and to hell (as well as this world) that they really do love God and not just his gifts.
This was the main point of the book of Job, which begins with Satan’s great slander against God: The only reason Job loves you is that you’ve filled his life with blessings. You have showered him with wealth. You have surrounded him with loved ones. Job is blessed and he knows where his bread is buttered. That’s why he loves you (1:9-11)!
Of course, Satan would say such a thing, because hell knows nothing of love. Satan cannot believe that anyone would love God for who he is. So he slanders God by accusing him of buying Job’s affection.
As one gift after another was stripped away from Job, this godly man walked through the dark valley of pain and struggled with many unanswered questions, but he did not cease to love God.
When Job loved God in the middle of his pain and suffering, his testimony glorified God in heaven, it silenced Satan in hell, and for thousands of years it has brought strength and comfort to millions of believers when they endure suffering.
Loving Christ still, in the middle of unexplained suffering or loss, may be the greatest contribution you will ever make to glorifying Christ, to advancing his kingdom in the world, and to pushing back Satan’s boundaries.
Can you express your love for God (and not just his gifts) today?