Lessons on suffering from the Book of Job
by | Posted December 7th at 12:06am
Actually, the mystery of human suffering is not fully explained. As Wesley Baker puts it: When the end of the book of Job comes, there is no answer written out. There is nothing there that would satisfy the logical mind! However, we can be sure of these two facts: First of all, Job’s suffering was not a direct result of his personal sin. God testified that he was a perfect and upright man; moreover, He called Job His servant: And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8)
Also, God said that the reasoning of Job’s three friends—that God was punishing him because of his sins—was not right (Job 42:8). Secondly, although Job was not suffering because he had sinned, yet his trials did reveal pride, self-justification, and animosity in his heart. He was not delivered until he had a vision of his own nothingness — his primary lesson was to reveal his need of humility in contradistinction to God’s greatness (Job 42:1–6); and bore the fruit of the lesson, revealed by Job’s exercise of a forgiving, humble sprit as he prayed for his friends, he had referred to as miserable comforters. (Job 42:10). Some of the lessons we learn about suffering from the book of Job are:
1. The righteous are not exempt from suffering.
2. Suffering is not necessarily a result of sin.
3. God has set a protective hedge around the righteous.
4. God does not send sickness or suffering. It comes from Satan (Luke 13:16; 2 Cor. 12:7).
5. Satan has some control in the realm of wicked men (the Sabeans and Chaldeans), supernatural disasters (fire from heaven), weather (a great wind), sickness (the boils on Job), and death.
6. Satan can bring these things on a believer only by God’s permission.
7. What God permits, He often is said to do. “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
8. We should view things as coming from the Lord, by His permission, and not from Satan. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.” From this perspective we can appreciate that regardless of how blameless, upright and god-fearing we are, there may yet be an un-sanctified aspect of our life, perhaps a self-righteousness, unbiblical doctrine overlooked, or an unknown sin; we all have an overlooked blind spot, as we are all fallen from the intended image of God.
9. God does not always explain the reason for our suffering.
10. Suffering develops endurance.
11. In visiting suffering saints, we should not be judgmental.
12. We should make our visits brief.
13. Human reasonings aren’t helpful. Only God can comfort perfectly.
14. At the end of the book of Job we see that “the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (Jas. 5:11). We also learn that sometimes, at least, wrongs are made right in this life.
15. Job’s patience in suffering vindicated God.
16. Job’s patience proved Satan to be a false accuser and liar.
17. “A man is greater than the things that surround him and, whatever may befall his possessions or his family, God is just as truly to be praised and trusted as before.”
18. We should be careful about making blanket statements that do not allow for exceptions.
19. Satan is neither omnipresent, omnipotent, nor omniscient.
In spite of God’s allowing unmerited suffering, He is still just and good. From other parts of the Bible, we get further light on some of the reasons why God allows His saints to suffer:
1. Sometimes it is a result of unjudged sin in the life (1 Cor. 11:32).
2. It is a means by which God develops spiritual graces, such as patience, longsuffering, humility (Rom. 5:3, 4; John 15:2).
3. It purges dross or impurities from the believer’s life so that the Lord can see His image reflected more perfectly (Isa. 1:25).
4. It enables the child of God to comfort others with the same type of comfort with which God comforted him or her (2 Cor. 1:4).
5. It enables the saint to share in the non-atoning sufferings of the Savior and thus to be more grateful to Him (Phil. 3:10).
6. It is an object lesson to beings in heaven and on earth (2 Thess. 1:4–6). It shows them that God can be loved for Himself alone, and not just because of the favors He bestows.
7. It is an assurance of sonship since God only chastens those whom He loves (Heb. 12:7–11).
8. It causes saints to trust in God alone and not in their own strength (2 Cor. 1:9).
9. It keeps God’s people close to Himself (Ps. 119:67).
10. It is a pledge of future glory (Rom. 8:17, 18).
11. God never allows us to be tempted above what we are able to bear (1 Cor. 10:13). “You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (Jas. 5:11b).
Article posted by Glen R. Jackman, founder of GraceProclaimed.org
Glen has optimized his eldership role to teach the full scope of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ without
You can read his testimony.