WHY SUFFERING? (Job 2)
One of the first questions to come up when we read the story of Job is to wonder why God allowed this to happen to him when he clearly didn’t deserve it. Why do the innocent suffer? Let’s see what we can learn from Job. First, read Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7.
LESSON FOR TODAY 1: Why does God allow people to suffer and struggle? How can a God of love allow so much evil to continue? God doesn’t defend Himself or explain what He allows. He gives us a free will choice as to whose kingdom we will pursue. Sin and the resulting evil are the natural consequences of turning from Him.
The fact of pain in the world is not a reason to see God as less than loving. Still, innocent people suffer. We can’t try to evaluate God’s person and character by these things for He has proven His character and love by leaving heaven, becoming a man, living on earth, then going to the cross to take on the punishment for every sin we would ever commit. That proves His love for us beyond a shadow of a doubt. If it weren’t for that we would all spend eternity in hell. So anything less than hell from now on is because of His grace and mercy. Why He seems to show more love and mercy to some than others is not up to us to judge. God isn’t accountable to us. We cannot stand in judgment of Him until we know all the facts as He knows them and see everything as He sees it. Many things seem unfair to little children but they must trust their parents. Getting an injection from a doctor, having a pretty shiny knife taken way, things like these seem to a child that a parent doesn’t love them. But a child doesn’t have the perspective to truly understand all that is involved and we don’t either. We do know that facing things we don’t understand gives us an opportunity to trust. Our faith is stretched and we grow. God is glorified as we see Him deliver and as others watch us continually trust Him no matter what happens. Spiritual warfare itself is often very painful. It is just one of many forms of suffering God uses for our good and for His glory. Often deliverance isn’t a sudden, complete act. God allows the struggle to go on for it teaches us to fight and to trust Him.
LESSON FOR TODAY 2: A related question is why God would allow Satan to attack us at all when He could prevent it. If He is a God of love why not deny Satan and demons any opportunity to attack? Then we wouldn’t have to resist or learn to fight? Life would be much simpler and easier. But that isn’t God’s purpose, nor is it how He works. Why didn’t God just kill all the Canaanites and not have the Jews have to go through warfare against them? The Jews had a free will to follow God or not, and if they followed, they needed to learn to obey and to fight as God would have them. Perseverance, faith, teamwork, patience, obedience and many lessons were tied up in this. God used it to stretch their faith, to give them opportunities to grow and see Him work through them and to show others His glory by what He could do through His people. The same is true of us today.
Do you still ask God “why” questions all the time? What answer does He give you? What can you tell someone who asks why God allows suffering in the world?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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