The mystery of suffering
If God is good, why does He let bad things happen?
Why do those who want to serve God end up suffering terribly?
And why do the wicked villains of the world seem to live far too long, with seemingly no consequences for their evil?
Human suffering is one of the greatest mysteries in the Bible. Of course, we know that sin entered the world through Adam and that is the primary reason for our suffering. Sin is killing all of us and all of creation is suffering under the weight of our evil (Romans 8:18-25).
But there is some suffering that just makes no sense to us. A child dies from cancer. A wife dies in childbirth. A dad dies in a car accident coming home from work. The person you love broke up with you. The church you grew up in has conflict and is split apart.
So many things that happen in our world seem to be so unfair from our perspective.
In the book of Job, we find a man who is destroyed and doesn't know why. He loses his kids, he loses his belongings, and he loses his health. His conscience is clear and he doesn't understand why this has happened to him.
His friends come along to "comfort" him and they basically tell him that his sin is the reason why God has judged him.
But Job maintains his innocence throughout the book.
At the end of the book when God finally arrives, He doesn't take the time to answer any of Job's questions.
Instead, he asks Job a series of questions that are impossible to answer.
God's point? He wants to show Job that He is King and that He knows best. That he is sovereign over all things- even our suffering.
After this encounter with God, Job's questions all seem to melt away. He now knows God in a much deeper way.
He may not know why he had to suffer, but he knows the One who is sovereign over his suffering.
This is an important point of submission for us. When things go wrong in our life, when that time of suffering comes; we need to place all of our questions about our pain under the banner of God's sovereign love and care.
Asking questions isn't wrong, but there are so many things in life we will likely not get an answer to this side of heaven.
One thing we can be sure of is who God is. And knowing Him in a deep and personal way has far more value than having all the answers or living a pain free life.
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. - 1Peter 4:19
Life is hard. God knows. Let's trust Him!