In research, there is a common practice used to measure data: the pre-test and post-test. The pre-test is a baseline, assessing the state of something prior to experimental factors being introduced. As is suggested by the name, this happens prior to the experiment.
The post-test is a comparison, designed to compare the outcome of the experiment to the pre-test results in order to assess change. As the name suggests, the post-test comes after the experiment.
In the life of Job, we find a man who goes through the most traumatic experiences imaginable. Job lost his kids, his wealth, his career, and his friends. His sheep even burned up! (It’s true, read Job 1:16.) Job’s life was turned upside down. His joy was low and his sorrow was high.
It’s fascinating to look at Job’s life before and after this series of trials. Prior to Job’s losing all he had, Job is described as blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. He had great spiritual fortitude and great material wealth.
Following his extended trial, Job repented of his wavering trust in God. Job was restored to God, and God restored his wealth to a greater degree than before.
The pre-test and post-test of Job’s journey demonstrate a man who, in the big picture, was unshakable in his relationship with God. Though he had high and low moments during the trial, Job was fully restored to God. Like Job, our faithfulness does not mean that there won’t be moments of struggle or slipping, but it does mean that overall, our faith in God remains and grows.
If you aren’t in the midst of a trial, know that God is strengthening your trust in Him so that when difficulty does come—and it will—your pre-test shows a strong faith that can endure. And if you are in the midst of great challenges right now, strive to endure so that a post-test might demonstrate that your love and trust of God has remained and even increased.
Trials are inevitable. Trust in God, who controls everything. Anticipate that trials will come, and aim for growth on the other side.
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: We can trust Jesus.
- Younger Preschool: The story of Job reminds us of Jesus. Job had hard times. Jesus had hard times, too, but He never sinned. He saves us from sin. Jesus comforts us when we hurt, and we can trust Him.
- Older Preschool: The story of Job reminds us of Jesus. Jesus is the only person who never sinned, but He suffered to take the punishment for our sin. Jesus comforts us when we suffer, and we can trust Him.
- Kids: Job learned that God is all-powerful, sovereign, and good. When we face suffering, we can hope in God. God sent Jesus, the only truly innocent One, to suffer and die so that everyone who trusts in Him can have forgiveness and eternal life.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: Who makes everything happen? God makes everything happen.
- Preschool: Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
- Kids: Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. Nothing is outside of God’s good plan.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: The Lord is great. — Psalm 135:5
- Younger Preschool: The Lord is great. — Psalm 135:5
- Older Preschool: The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. — Psalm 135:6
- Kids: I know that the LORD is great; our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. — Psalm 135:5-6
** Next week: God Called Moses (Exodus 1-4)