The morning headlines reads: “Man Loses Everything in Bizarre Disasters.”
Breaking News at 5 shares this update: “Doctors were seen leaving the victim’s home. It is believed that now, even his health is beginning to deteriorate due to the shock of these tragic turn of events. However, bad as things might be, he is currently being supported by his church and close friends. While our victim was unavailable for comment, his wife was said to be angry and unsupportive. Some even heard her tell her husband, “You ought to curse God for all that is happening to us.”
Well, as you can tell the “he” in this news event was Job. He was described in Scripture as “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1) Job was a tribal chieftain, like Abraham who suddenly incurred total disaster—his wealth lost, children dead, and his health ruined.
Suffering in Faith
The book of Job analyzes the question how a righteous person like Job can encounter such enormous troubles. Of course, as we read Job, we better understand why Job’s situation came to be (Job 1:6-12). More importantly, by the end of the book, we understand that, like Job, we cannot always understand why we suffer but we must endure our sufferings in faith.
What does it mean to “endure suffering in faith”? In faith believes that despite our circumstance, we know that God is with us (Is. 43:1-2). In faith we remain steadfast, even during tragedy (1 Pet. 4:1; 1 Cor. 15:58). In faith our trust is anchored to Almighty God who is in control of all that is happening to us (Hab. 3:17-19).
One thing we must always remember (and never forget): We live in a fallen world. It is a place where everything is not always perfect nor is it always fair. Life happens! Sickness, disease, misfortune, and other “stuff”. That’s reality. But only ONE reality.
Reality when life turns left
If we lose everything we own, will we still love God? Suppose we lose our only child, our family home, and our health. Will we still serve God? If everyone turns their back on us, will we still obey God? When God is silent, can we still trust Him? Such are the questions we ask ourselves when life turns left. What, why, how?
As followers of Jesus Christ, we live in a reality based on “who we are” and “Whose we are”. First and foremost, we are children of God and joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Secondarily, we are in Christ (Ep. 1:3-14). In Christ, we have the security of God’s presence, His power, His provision, and His protection. Bad things may happen in our life (remember we live in a fallen world) but in Christ we are able to overcome the world.
This month we will spend some time on the theology of suffering. Why? Because these times of uncertainty will often lead to suffering and pain. We need to believe that regardless of our circumstance, we can live victoriously even during our suffering (2 Cor. 4:17).
To begin our journey, we invite you to read “The Clue to Life’s Maze,” F.B. Meyer’s perspective on Job and life lived in the context of a fallen world.