Richard started a sermon series yesterday about how we as Christians should bear God’s Fruit. This carried over into our Disciple Class tonight with the discussion of Job and suffering. Every week on Monday nights we share in leading a Discipleship class in which we are equipping others in our church to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We have a very intimate group of 12 that attend faithfully every Monday night. At the beginning of our class every week we read a statement called The Human Condition. This week It went like this:
“Life isnt’ fair. Sometimes the wicked prosper and the good are cut down. Some sick people are healed, and others are not. Suffering bewilders us. Why did this happent to me? we ask. If God is just and good, why do we sometimes suffer so much? Surely it is not always because of our sin. It is easy to become bitter.”
Here is Job…one of the wealthiest and most faithful. God’s Word tells us he was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had family, livestock, wealth, everything a man could ask for. And he was trusting in God. He didn’t take what he had for granite like most of us do. Then comes along satan who basically tells God that he has just been roaming the earth creating mischief on the earth. And God says…”Have you considered my servant Job. There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil”. God basically gives satan permission to do what ever he wants to Job except kill him. And Job keeps faith and trust in God through it all.
So satan takes away all his family, his livestock, his wealth and then lastly his health. Job’s friends, and even his wife tell him to just curse God and die. Even through everythign that satan does to Job, God’s and His infinate grace prevail. Job’s family, health, and wealth is restored with twice as much as he had before.
Scroll up and read the quote again. Aren’t we a bunch of whine bags when things don’t go our way? Don’t we sit around and say “Why me Lord” (Isn’t that a song?) Not knowing almost always goes along with suffering. Lately we have, as a world, experienced earthquakes, wars, famine, disease…the acts of others causing us great pain. In the face of unexplained suffering, the disciple trusts God. God does not always give us answers, but He does promise to be with us in the great valleys of suffering.
Have you ever had a moment of unexplained suffering? Did you respond with bitterness or trust? I know I have experienced both and the greater valley, the taller mountain came when I failed to trust in God and expect that He would get me through. I give Him all the praise, honor, and glory for being a forgiving God and that when I get on my knees and ask for forgiveness, he is always there to receive my prayers and to pick me up and stand me back on my feet and prepare me for battle for His Kingdom. I would have it no other way.