Lessons About God and Suffering from the Book of Job
Here are a few quotes that are really worth thinking about-
- God would sooner we had holy pain than unholy pleasure.
- God sometimes has to put us on our backs in order to make us look up.
- Calvary is God’s great proof that suffering in the will of God always lead to glory.
Job was already a wonderful man of faith, but he came to learn more about himself, suffering, but especially God during a time of incredible grief and pain in his life (cf. Job 1:1-2:10).
- The book of Job needs to be stripped down to its bare essentials: God, Satan and Job. God and Satan both are interested in Job to be sure, but for entirely different reasons! Satan wants to accuse Job by saying that the ONLY reason he is the man he is has to do with what God has given him, while God wants to bless Job to His eternal glory.
- One of the fundamental issues of the entire book of Job is this question: “Is it possible for a person to serve God wholly out of love, regardless of whether we ‘get anything out of it?’” Does everyone who serves God do so only because of what they “get” out of Him? (See Rom.8:28-29; Mark 12:30.
- There’s often something bigger involved in our suffering and pain. Job had no way of knowing that God had staked His integrity on the fact that Job would be faithful even when he suffered unbelievable person loss and pain. There are many occasions in life we don’t know WHY? But we can be satisfied with WHO? (God) and WHAT? (Trust). Sometimes, suffering may prepare us for future ministry, as was especially true with Joseph, Paul and our Lord Himself (cf. Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:18; Heb. 5:8-9). Suffering may be (and ought to be) and occasion to glorify God (cf. 1 Pet. 4:12-19).
- When it comes to suffering and pain in our lives, we have only 3 options: try to BARGAIN with God; try to BLAME God; or BLESS God. Job, despite his awful circumstances, chose the best course – he blessed God (Job 1:21; 2:3).
- The person who doesn’t learn patience will have a hard time learning anything else in life (cf. James 5:11; Job 13:15; 19:25-27; 23:10). Job questioned God, but NEVER lost faith IN God.
- In the book of Job, there is the repeated emphasis on the fact that God is “almighty” – that He’s the King and in control (31 times in the book). God is big enough, great enough, and powerful enough to see us through the darkest periods of life. His character is perfect – trust Him, no matter what. Mike Vestal