SOURCE: Dr. Bill Bellican — taken from various personal notes, NIV Study Bible notes, and other commentaries
At times of unparalleled stress and suffering in our lives, these are questions we shout to God desiring, even demanding answers. And, these lead to other questions such as: Is God in control of what’s happening to and around me? Is God really all good? Am I really all that bad to deserve this? Is God just paying me back for what I have done? In addition to these seemingly unanswered questions, Satan complicates the situation seeking to alienate us from God and have it seem that God is alienated from us.
It is important for us to ask these questions of God and seek an understanding based on His Word. The story of Job deals with these very things. One can begin to see into this struggle in the heavens between God and the Enemy from God’s point of view and how His Divine purpose involving us is in the balance. We start to understand in our struggle that God works in these times to:
- strengthen our faith;
- teach us a lesson/truth we need to know;
- allow us to experience the consequences of our sin and the (loving) discipline He brings;
- work His testing and refinement in our lives;
- reveal His comfort/grace;
- accomplish His own sovereign/mysterious purposes. Finally, we must come to the place of accepting that God does not allow us to suffer for no reason. And even though the reason may be hidden in the mystery of his Divine purpose-never for us to know in this lifetime-we must trust in Him as the God who does only what is right.
Prayerfully consider the following selections in Job. Meditate on them and dialogue with God about them as you grapple with your issues.
Chapter 1 – 2:10; Chapter 3; Chapter 6:4, 24; Chapter 7:7,11; Chapter 9:14-10:22; Chapter 12:13-25; Chapter 13:15-24; Chapter 16:6-9, 12, 16-21; Chapter 17:1, 7, 11; Chapter 19:6-20; Chapter 21:4-9, 13-16, 22-26; Chapter 23:1-17; Chapter 24:1, 12, 22-24; Chapter 28:12-15, 23-24, 28; Chapter 29:1-6; Chapter 30:15-31; Chapter 31:5-6; Chapters 38-42.
Some conclusions we can draw from God’s Word in Job include:
- There are matters going on in heaven with God that we know nothing about that affect our lives.
- Even the best effort at explaining the issues of life can be useless.
- God’s people do suffer. Bad things happen all the time to good people – so one cannot judge a person’s spirituality by his painful circumstances or successes.
- Even though God seems far away, perseverance in faith is a most noble virtue since God is Good and one can safely leave his life in His Hands.
- In the midst of suffering, we must not abandon God, but draw near to Him so out of the fellowship can come the comfort – without the explanation.
- Suffering may be intense, but it will ultimately end for the righteous, and God will bless abundantly.
- Job finally rested in nothing but faith in God’s Goodness and the hope of His redemption. God vindicated Job’s trust.
- When there are no rational, or even theological, explanations for disaster and pain, trust God.
- Suffering is directed by perfect Divine Wisdom.