Would you curse God?

At some point in their life, I believe every Christian will face a trial or temptation that tests his or her faith to the point where that person considers leaving the faith altogether and even cursing God in anger over the difficult challenge to their faith.

The story of Job is a good illustration of this. It’s a book that has always fascinated me because, even though it’s the oldest book in the Bible, the questions Job and his “friends” discuss throughout the book are questions that we still ponder today; questions about God’s love and justice and why He allows suffering and heartache etc.

In the beginning of the story, Satan comes to God and tells Him that Job is only serving Him because God blesses him. In other words, that Job’s love for God is conditional love, which of course isn’t love at all. Satan isn’t merely making this accusation against Job; he’s making it against everyone who claims to love God. And, like Job, our claim of loving God unconditionally will be tested at some point in our journey.

After making this harsh accusation, Satan then proposes this wager; if God would allow him to take away all of Job’s blessings (Satan claims), Job “will surely curse You to Your face.” (Job 1:11)

For reasons we cannot fully understand, God accepts Satan’s wager and allows him to take away virtually everything Job possesses and loves. However, the result was not as Satan had predicted; the penniless and depressed Job announces, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The LORD gave me everything I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21 NLT)

After hearing this declaration from Job, I imagine Satan with a puzzled look on his face; a look like the Grinch had on his face Christmas morning when he heard all the Who’s down in Whoville singing after he had stolen all of their Christmas gifts and decorations.

Satan isn’t one to give up easy; he then doubles-down on his bet with God by predicting; “A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!” (Job 2:4-5 NLT)

Again God accepts Satan’s challenge and allows him to inflict Job with horrible pain and suffering. Satan is so desperate to win his bet with God that he recruits Job’s wife to relay a message to him; “His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9 NLT)

Nice wife! Maybe she’s the reason they came up with the wedding vows, “For better or for worse and in sickness and health…”

As most people know, God won the bet with Satan; Job never cursed God or said anything against Him. The story ends with Job’s health being restored and his wealth and other blessings being greater than they were before. The lesson is this; whether it’s in this life or the next, “God blesses the people who patiently endure testing.” (James 1:12 NLT)

As I said, all those who claim to be followers of Christ, will eventually have their claim tested by trials, temptations and/or doctrines that are difficult to accept. It is the challenges to our faith that strengthens our faith.

Like Job, the crowd following Jesus had a difficult choice to make when their faith was tested by Jesus’ challenging teaching. The Bible says (after hearing Jesus’ words);  “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you going to leave, too?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. We believe them, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69 NLT)

If there is one advantage to my trying everything except Jesus before committing to follow Him, it’s that, like Peter, I know that Jesus alone has the words of life. And, like Job, even though I don’t know what’s going on “behind the scenes” and, like him, I too have many questions, but even in the midst of a difficult trial, I can still maintain a sense of joy, peace and hope. I’ve discovered that I can maintain this joy, peace and hope (to some degree) even in the emotional down times and the times of spiritual confusion by focusing on the following three simple truths;

  • God is good (Mark 10:18)
  • God is love (1 John 4:8)
  • God has good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11)

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on November 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Would cursing God be the unpardonable sin?

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    • The Bible says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin. I don’t believe cursing God falls into this category. If it did, everyone that’s ever used God’s name as a cuss word would be bound for hell.

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      • But when people say “God damn” that doesn’t sound like its cursing God. If it was the opposite way, D G instead of G D then that would be cursing God. See what I mean?

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        • I see your point, but from what I’ve studied, the unforgivable sin is much more than just words, even the harshest words. Jesus mentioned blasphemy against the Spirit after the Pharisees (those with knowledge of the Bible…) accused Him of healing through demonic powers. Essentially calling the Holy Spirit a demon – that’s scary territory.
          There’s a movement by atheists (mocking Christians) to publicly blaspheme the Holy Spirit. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe it’s even possible for someone that’s carnally minded to commit an unforgivable sin – it takes spiritual insight.

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  2. jennifermccrary

    Bill,

    There is a group of guys “Jeremiah Eighteen” and they wrote a song called “Like Job”. I think you would enjoy it.
    Here is the link for where to find them on-line.

    You can listen to the song right on that site. God bless you and your family.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer L. McCrary

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  3. jennifermccrary

    Hi! I found your blog because you recently “liked” a poem on mine. Good stuff you are sharing here.
    September 21. 2012 I posted a blog similar to this one. I titled it “Fearing God For Nought.” I thought you might enjoy reading it.
    God bless.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer L. McCrary

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  4. why should we curse God? should we be grateful everyday because we have given new day everyday? am I right?

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    • You are right, Katarina; we be grateful for every new day!

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    • There are many whose lives are so painful that a new day is no blessing to them, and they wish to die and rest in peace. (Particularly those who suffer constant mental anguish, which cannot be alleviated as physical pain can.) Even God’s people (Job, the prophets) sometimes wish to die and not see another day.

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      • Thank you for your comments. I have been one of the people you described so I know first-hand what that kind of miserable existence is like. But we know that suicide is never God’s will and He can bring us out of that dark emotional pit.

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  5. You were preaching there, my brother-I don’t know why God does what does but I do know he has my best interest in his heart. People find fault or blame God, I think, because they feel if he’s God than he should intervene. The thing about this is that he’s given humans free will to serve whatever god they choose-“..But for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Furthermore, with trails and testing will come a separation of the wheat from the tares and with that I believe we will see many walk away from the faith. Peace

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  6. I’ve always admired Job’s honesty. That we could all be so plain and so devoted.

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  7. Fantastic post, Bill! I found your blog today through Shannon’s site. I just want to comment on the name of your blog and the verse you share in Romans 15:13. I just posted a new blog entry called “Finding Hope” and used that same verse!!

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  8. I love that I found your blog…this has been a year of trials and tribulations for me. I’ve had about 10 years of them and I have had my faith challenged many times. But I am still here…still believing and still loving each and every day! ❤

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  9. Just started to read through your blog. I’m newly saved earlier this year and it’s really beautiful to see parts of your journey. Thank you for writing!

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  10. >> “If there is one advantage to my trying everything except Jesus . . .
    I have to agree. When I became a Christian, at 22 years old, I soooooo wished that I had been brought up in a Christian home – but that was soon dashed, as I realised that, unlike so many Christians, I wasn’t tempted by the world’s attractions because I had ‘been there, done that’ and they held NO attraction for me.

    Now, 54 years later, I thank my amazing God for all the abuse of my first 22 years, and for all the lessons I learned in those years. They helped to make me what I am and they certainly gave me an appreciation for a PERFECT Father and the super-abundance of blessings He bestows on His blood-bought, adopted child.

    Would I curse God? No way! He has proven Himself to me over and over and over and over again. I rejoice in the REALITY of my life in Him.

    What an amazing God!

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    • Thank you, Angela. I enjoyed reading your background/testimony on your blog. I thought of one other advantage of not committing your life to Christ until you’re an adult – you tend not to be as judgmental of unbelievers as some of those who have always lived as Christians.

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  11. Excellent work !! May I re-publish on “Gods group” on Facebook, other sites, and in my daily e-mail ??
    As Always, In Christ, bruce

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  12. Fantastic! Job has been a hard story for me to grasp. How could God do that to him? Seems too loaded with unknowns. But Job’s response (the ones we know about) is beautiful. He’s pure and simple and fully devoted. That’s the kind of faith I admire and pursue. Facing my mom’s brain cancer has given me an opportunity to look at what I really believe about eternity and the goodness of God. He’s done so many miraculous things between my mom and me, it’s obvious there are many blessings to be found in the valley of suffering. I’m sure you have countless examples of that too. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you. How are you?

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    • Thank you, Lori. It is hard to figure out how and why God uses Satan to bring about temporary pain and suffering that results in long-term and even eternal good, but it’s clear throughout the Bible that, for now at least, Satan is the ultimate necessary evil. We see a similar scenario (to Job) play out in the New Testament when Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked permission to test Peter and the disciples’ faith (Luke 22:31). In that case too, God allowed it and Peter and the disciples all abandoned Jesus in His most desperate hour. But, they all returned as Jesus predicted they would – “…when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers.” (Luke 22:32 NLT).
      It’s good to know that He’ll take us back if we’ve denied Him (in word or deed).
      I meant to ask you, do you live near your mom? Are you one of her caregivers? How is she doing?

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      • Oh my goodness. I’ve never, ever seen that scripture before. Wow. Jesus told Peter he’d deny Him and told him what to do afterward…”to strengthen and build up your brothers..” this really made me cry. Thank you for sharing it with me and for all of your thoughtful responses to my comments. I appreciate you.

        Thanks for asking about my mom. My family lives 2 1/2 hours from my parent’s house, so we’ve been traveling for long weekends to see them and help with my mom. She’s been doing fantastic emotionally, and up until about 3 days ago she was doing well physically. Now she’s become extrememly exhausted because of the radiation and chemo, and she now has blood clots to contend with. Her faith is remarkable, though. She gave her life to Jesus more than 35 years ago and she’s been faithfully reading the Bible, studying it, and memorizing it. God is blessing her with His incredible peace that just can’t be explained by human beings. It makes no sense to be facing a terminal diagnosis and still be at peace.

        We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving with her and my entire family next week.

        I value your insight so much, my new brother. Please continue to write and share what God puts on your heart. I pray the world hears your story and that God’s awesome power to save and heal penetrates the hearts and minds of millions because of your surrender and obedience to His will and enormous love for you. You’re making a huge difference in the world. I know you have in my heart. Blessings upon blessings to you and your family.

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        • Thank you again, Lori for your kind and encouraging words.
          I’m glad to hear that your mom is a Christian and has a confident peace while going through this trial.
          2 and ½ hours away isn’t close; it’s great that you’re able to visit so often. Is your dad her only caregiver during the week or do friends and people from church help out too? I’m sorry she’s been having difficulties with the treatments. Exhaustion seems to be one symptom all of these serious diseases share; it’s a major issue for me, especially because I’ve never been able to nap and I’m and early riser, which makes for some long zombie-like days:-)
          We’re also looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with family. Most of my family lives 1200 miles away so we don’t get to see them very often and we’re looking forward to some of them spending Thanksgiving with us.
          I’ll keep your mom in my prayers.

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  13. I really enjoy your insights. Job is one of my fav OT. Thank you

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  14. Nice reminder, especially as the holidays approach and temptations abound. Thanks 🙂

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  15. Thank you for such a beautiful gift. Job-he has been a close companion of mine lately 😉 . I am in the worst trial of my life and it seems to get worse each week. For a good piece of my life I kept God at a distance scared that something would happen and I would lose more loved ones. Then, as I came back into the fold, I thought that as long as I had God that nothing could really touch me. Not true and every time I think I get my head above water the devil pulls me under. he knows my every weakness.

    Thanks for this. The book of Job has brought great comfort to me. The bigger picture—God’s masterpiece—God takes all of us who are broken, puts us together, and makes something so beautiful–something so great. Even at our lowest we are so very blessed. I see my trials as my blessings now but it is tough. Please take care!

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    • Thank you for your comments. I am sorry for your troubles; I’ve read about some of your trials on your blog. As I’ve mentioned before, our emotional, spiritual, physical, financial etc lives are so interconnected that a trial in one area impacts every area to some extent. It sounds like you’ve already discovered this. Fortunately this works the other way too; a blessing or the ending of a trial in one area makes every area better – I hope and pray that you discover this soon!

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  16. Wow thank you. This story was in my mind when I wrote my post. Although I just referenced it, you did an awesome job of preaching and explaining it, amazing, and very encouraging and inspirational.

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  17. An encouraging word once again, Bill. Thanks for this. It reminded me of God’s words to His people in the wilderness. He led them that route, He said, “that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Dt. 8.16).

    So, in spite of the trying things of the wilderness, we know what is before us. Good.

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    • Thank you Allan. You’re right, that’s a good corresponding verse because we know that the “latter end” (the outcome of our trials), whether in this life or the next, will be with the “wilderness” behind us and a “promise land” in front of us!

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  18. Inspirational words, as always. Parts of it reminded me of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective people where we only see one part of the beach ball and not the entire ball. There is more to the picture and we tend to make judgments with incomplete information. And that is where faith comes in. You trust those other parts of the beach ball are being handled by your higher power.

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    • That’s a good analogy, Hilda! It is hard to see the big picture (the purpose for life’s difficulties and trials etc) when you’re in the midst of a trial. But, I do think we should try to see the big picture and I believe reading the Bible, prayer and getting advice from people we trust etc, helps us “zoom-out” and gradually begin to see more and more of the picture.
      I hope you guys are doing well.

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  19. I won’t lie, I have cursed God before. I’ve also followed Him through so many trials. In the end, I trust that He is in control, even when the events of life can be so absolutely maddening. I believe it’s ok to question God and is written so numerous times in the Scriptures…but thank you for sharing the story of Job as it is of such encouragement to anyone going through a difficult time as to what we SHOULD do during these times.

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    • Thanks Brian. I completely agree with you that it’s okay and even essential that we question God – this is one of the ways we grow in faith. I believe one of the reasons God allows trials is for us to stop and ask questions of God; the book of Job demonstrates this too, for 30-something chapters Job and his companions are essentially giving answers for who God is and why He does the things He does. Then, as you know, God shows up and tells them how wrong their answers were.

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  20. Yes. Job is my favorite OT book – just the character and poetry of it all is so beautiful, especially in the midst of so much pain.

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    • Thanks David. It’s one of my favorite OT books too. The discussions between Job and his so-called “comforters” are profound. These were the the wise men of their day, but, like us, their knowledge of God was very limited.

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  21. My wife said when talking with me about Job, “I notice satan left his wife.” Lol she was not much of a help. This reminds me that one must chose carefully the advice they take and test it against the word to see if it is good. Our primary direction comes from GOD through prayer and the scriptures. Advice is secondary to this.

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    • Thanks Jack. You’re right, we have to be careful when giving spiritual advice, especially to those going through difficult trials. Fortunately I’ve never given advice like Job’s wife, but I have given advice that I later wish I hadn’t given.

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  22. Good word Brother. It encourages me when I see people that have run with the footmen and are ready to contend with horses. Press On! – Chuck

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    • Thanks! Good analogy with Jeremiah 12:5 (“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
      Then how can you compete with horses?”), but I’m still trying to keep up with the “footmen.”:-)

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