John_ChrysostomHas the devil filled you with sorrow on account of some harm he has brought upon you? Make him sad as well by thanking God.

The best thing, of course, is for you not to become sad at all. In this manner, you will give the devil a fatal blow.

When he sees you ignoring him and his evil ways, he will depart in shame.

[…] But let us now return to the magnificent example of Job.

[…] When his rotted flesh was falling to the ground, when worms were eating away at his body, when he could no longer tolerate the excruciating pain and desired death, this is precisely when the evil one incited Job’s wife to advise him:

“Until when will you be so patient? How long will you wait and hope for your suffering to come to an end?…Go ahead! Blaspheme God and die!” (Job 2:9-14).

At that moment, the devil was certain that he would finally witness Job’s downfall. However, he was terribly fooled!

Not only did this blessed man not blaspheme God, but he glorified the Lord: “Despite all this, Job sinned not” (Job 1:22). Who ever saw or heard of such a wondrous achievement?

During a boxing match, the winner is he who knocks his opponent to the ground. In this case, however, the opposite took place: the devil was defeated and ran away shamefully after he gave Job a beating and laid him up on a dunghill.

“What’s wrong, O devil? Why are you running away? Didn’t you accomplish everything you wanted? … Why then are you running away?”

“I’m leaving,” the devil replies, “because I accomplished everything I wanted except for one thing! The one thing I desired more than all the others did not occur. The end result that I was hoping to achieve through all these things did not take place. Job did not blaspheme God!

“Therefore, I gained nothing by destroying his wealth, killing his children, and wounding his body. On the contrary, I suffered a great loss, because on account of his steadfast patience and devoutness, he was glorified even more by humanity, and he became even more loved by God.”

Do you see what Job gained from his sufferings? He won both the admiration of men and the love of God. He gained both earthly and heavenly glory. This was because his virtue became evident through his sufferings. Therefore, let us all envy his godliness.

Having witnessed all the good things that spring forth from patience, let us not lose courage when we are hit by misfortunes—no matter how difficult they may be. For there is no human in misfortune who cannot find consolation from Job’s example.

John Chrysostom (c.347-407): Homily on Patience and Gratitude @ Discerning Thoughts.

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