It’s an age-old question – Why do bad things happen to good people?
Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to you?
Do you wonder if perhaps you did something wrong to deserve your suffering?
While some of our trials are a direct result of consequences from our wrong choices, the book of Job teaches us that not all trials come because of something we have done wrong. As we study the life of Job, we see his suffering did not come because of his sins.
Job’s suffering came because of his unwavering faithfulness to God! (Job 1:8)
And so we wonder, why do bad things happen to good people?
As Job wades through his despair and listens to the counsel of his friends in chapters 6-10, we see that no explanation can be found. Job feels that if he could just find out the answer to “why,” all of his trials would be more tolerable.
Sometimes we can feel the same way. We beg God to let us in on the big picture of “why”. It seems that coping would be much easier, if we could just get some answers. And when answers don’t come, we can fall into despair.
This is exactly what happened to Job in chapter 6. He says:
“2 Oh that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!
3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
therefore my words have been rash.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.”
And in Job chapter 7 he cries out as he tosses and turns at night:
” 2 Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
3 so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
4 When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.”
Then his friend Bildad, tells Job to get right with God and plead for mercy. This was not helpful! He needed compassion not judgement from his dear friend.
In Job chapters 9 and 10, Job replies with his questions and pleas to God. He wavers between hope and doubt and despair. He loathes his own life. He feels innocent but wonders if God sees him differently.
Oh dear reader…have you been there?
Have you wondered why God has allowed you to suffer various trials of different kinds?
I have been there. I have wondered why God would let me take risks for his glory and go far out on a limb for him – only for other limbs in my life – to snap and break off. There have been times where the spiritual warfare in my life is very thick.
Fear. Doubt. Worry. Anxiety. Suffering. Sleepless Nights. and…
All these things can put a death grip on me and threaten to destroy my hope and joy.
But this I know.
I know that God is good.
I know I can trust in God’s goodness even when what I am facing is NOT good.
As C. S. Lewis watched his wife die of cancer, he wrote:
“But pain insists upon being attended to.
God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pains:
it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Pain is a megaphone.
I know there are pastors on television that say God only wants to see us happy, healthy and wealthy. But you can’t look a cancer patient in the eye or a paralyzed woman who is bound in a wheel chair for life and say this. The Bible is clear that in this world there will be suffering (John 16:33) but heaven awaits us and there – there will be no more death, crying or pain (Rev.21:4).
Pain sends a universal message. We all hear it loud and clear. James tells us to consider trials a joy – a friend that will test our faith and prove our endurance. Our faith can get lazy when we are on easy street – but when the street is filled with raging rivers – we cling to Jesus. Our self-sufficiency is gone and our eyes are opened to the pain and suffering that others are facing as well.
God uses our trials to draw us to him.
God uses our trials to soften our hearts.
God uses our trials so we can comfort others with the comfort we have received from God, during our trial.
God uses our trials to put Satan to shame through our faithfulness.
May we not wake up one morning and find the reverse true of ourselves – that our megaphone of pain has caused us to run from God, develop a hard heart and be the one –put to shame– by our lack of faithfulness.
Are you in the midst of a trial, where you wonder why?
Perhaps this trial is BECAUSE of your faithfulness.
Your trial may exist so that as you worship through tears, Satan is put to shame and God is glorified and honored by your unwavering faithfulness.
May we proclaim together with Job:
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Walk with the King,
What is one thing you learned during your study in the book of Job this week?
For Further Reading
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