You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. – Job 12:13
2 When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking
How many times in our lives have we experienced hardship, difficulty, tragedy, unmet expectations and then asked WHY?
Most of the time, the Scriptures do not directly address the question of why. In fact, there is the tacit implication that it is really the wrong question to ask. Instead the Scriptures tell us how to manage our hardships and get through our afflictions with the proper response to our Father in heaven.
There is however one outstanding example where the Father answers the question of why. It provides needed insight, and ultimately comfort for us in difficult times.
There is an entire book of the Bible that was written to address the question of why. It investigates why people suffer, how they learn from suffering, and what is really going on behind the suffering. You have probably guessed what book of the Bible it is, the book of Job.
The book of Job is the story of Job’s suffering. In the material world, he lost most everything that he had that was of value to him. He lost his children, his possessions, his property, his means of livelihood. His suffering and loss were horrendous and almost unimaginable. He was left with only four things: a few “helpful” friends, a distraught, nagging wife who was grieving the same losses that he had experienced, his health, and most importantly, his faith.
If you have your health, you have everything, right? Well, Job soon lost his health too. Next his “helpful friends” and their suggestions proved to be useless, confusing, and without merit. Materially speaking, all he really had left was his distraught, grieving, nagging wife.
His faith was greatly tested. He was almost crushed. However, Job’s initial response was truly incredible. He demonstrated that he was a man of faith.
9 That the hand of the LORD has done this,
10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?
13 With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding.
22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light.
Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways before Him.”
If we were there, I am convinced we would hear him weeping, if not wailing. He was mourning and consumed with grief.
He is trapped in the twilight zone between trust and fear. His thoughts reverberated again and again, why. WHY, WHY, WHY?
If we began reading his story inJob 1:13 where his history of the suffering begins, we would have no clue as to what was really going on. Because the book of Job was written after the after the events had taken place, Job had never read Job 1:1-12. So he had no understanding as to what was going on. He had no idea or reason concerning the cause of his trials. He had done nothing wrong. Yet tragedy after tragedy befell him.
But there is a back story, the untold story explains that his tests came about because he was good and righteous and had confidence and trust in the Father above all else. Does that make any sense at all? It does in the Father’s kingdom.
REFLECT & PRAY
So often we ask why. It is a transformational moment, a perspective transformation, when we come to realize that, if we really knew why, it would change nothing. We would still have to trust the Father no matter what. We would have to take it by faith that He has our best interests at heart
Father this is a difficult lesson to learn. Sadly, we must learn it over and over again. Help me to grow up and be like Job. May I believe as Job believed. May I echo his sentiments, though You may slay me, yet I will trust You.
Here’s the rest of the story:
6 One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.
7 “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
8 Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
9 Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.
10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
12 “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.
Job was guilty of nothing but righteousness. He was pushed to the limit of human endurance and nearly collapsed. Knowing this, do you feel any better?
The Father personally intervened and spoke to him one-on-one. Rather than answering his questions, the Father asked His own (Job 38-41).
Job fully understood with greater understanding than ever, that the Father was a creative genius and designed and made all that is. The Father knows what He is doing, why He is doing it, and what His ultimate purpose is.
Why do we suffer? Suffering is part of the Father’s plan for our lives! Our best response to suffering is not to ask “why,” but rather we should ask “what would you have me learn from these experiences and how can I draw closer to You Father.”
Especially when we find ourselves in painful and distressing circumstances, we must turn to the Father for His wisdom, strength, guidance, and knowledge. Where else can we go to find the help we need?
God is either worth trusting all the way to the end, or He’s not worth trusting at all (Stanley).
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Job finally ends his journey where he began in total faith and confidence. Knowing why, changed nothing. It was incumbent upon him to repent and line up behind the Father whom Job worship and served.
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You.
6 Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.”
Rather than living Job’s life and struggles after him, learn from him. Begin now and take baby steps in developing total faith and confidence in the Father.