Suffering. It is as old as the day of mankind’s first sin. No wonder we want to attribute some sin to everything that happens to us, or to someone else. Sometimes it may be a sin or some foolish act that has caused our pain and brought us to the place we are now. But more than likely it is a mystery as to why we are chosen, or struck by “fate.”
I have wasted more time wondering if I might have done something to cause my illness, or rather, might have done something to prevent it. I wish I had spent that time thinking on positives, or at least dwelling on another topic.
In the book of Job in the Bible we have the story of a man who did no wrong, yet was singled out for testing of the worst kind. Satan got God’s permission to give Job one test after another–the loss of wealth, his cattle, workers, and source of income. Worse still, the loss of his children. All these terrors were one after another. Still Job didn’t sin by cursing God. Finally the devil gets permission to attack Job’s health–isn’t it interesting that the devil considered this a greater test?
So there is poor Job, wife telling him to essentially kill himself by cursing God. Some “friends” show up just to tell him how horrible he was to bring this on himself. Job wants an answer from God–a face-to-face meeting. God appears, tells Job to explain the beauty and the workings of the universe. Job is silent, asks God to forgive his foolishness, and his friends’ foolishness. God blesses Job in the end, more than in the beginning. The End–not!
We see this ancient play going on in a thousand ways all around the world. Some claim that because God allows suffering, He must not be real. They should read the book of Job. Notice that God never gave a reason for the suffering of Job. God doesn’t owe us a reason for our troubles.
He will use our troubles to help us to grow and learn to trust and depend on Him. He may use our troubles to help comfort others who are suffering. But don’t expect an answer for your trials.
We are left–like Job–to find comfort in knowing God is there, He is ultimately in control, and He hears, and cares.*
Our God cares. That is the message you need to hold on to no matter how many struggles are thrown at you. God has not abandoned you despite your present circumstances. Soon you will be able to see beyond the circumstances, like Job did, and get a greater vision of the God who loves us and is with us in our suffering.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we face many difficulties in life, help us never to forget that You are with us even in the midst of life’s hardest challenges. Amen.
*Excerpt from the book: Chronic Illness
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is author of the book “Chronic Illness”. If you have a Kindle, and would like a free Kindle copy, send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Do you sometimes feel like Job, like one thing after another has been lining up to cause you affliction? Have you called upon God to answer your hard questions about suffering?