March 26, 2018
READ: Job 13:14-28
Why do you turn away from me? (v.24).
Sipping tea at a café, I saw two women sit down at different tables. One, young and attractive, was downing a drink topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Shopping bags sat at her feet like obedient pets. The other, about the same age, gripped a walking stick as she moved to her table. Thick plastic braces guarded her ankles. A staff member had to help her manoeuvre into her seat. As I looked at the two women, I wondered, Why does God seem to allow some to suffer much more than others?
When Job lost his children, money and health, his friends tried to explain why it had occurred. They supposed it was payback for sin, but God said Job was “the finest man in all the earth” (Job 1:8).
Clearly sin isn’t always the source of suffering. Yet when we’re desperate for relief, we look for answers. We ask questions such as “Why?” and, “Is it God’s will for me to suffer?” instead of pursuing God Himself. Job fell into this trap when he demanded: “What have I done wrong? . . . Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy?” (13:23-24).
Ultimately, Job’s questions were left unanswered. God didn’t explain that unseen evil had caused his suffering (Ephesians 6:12). But Job wasn’t left unsatisfied. God satisfied him by simply revealing Himself. After He showed him His provision and majesty in creation, Job declared, “Now I have seen you with my own eyes” (Job 42:5). And God blessed Job with twice the possessions he’d lost, children and 140 more years (vv. 10-17).
Though we might not understand why God allows us to suffer, we can continue pursuing Him, knowing “the Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him” (Lamentations 3:25).
365-day plan: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Read Colossians 3:1-4 and consider what the future holds for believers who suffer on earth.
How is the enduring love of God a source of comfort for you when you suffer? How does Lamentations 3:33 demonstrate God’s goodness?