Where are You in this Suffering, God?
Day: 24 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading: Job 24
Job 24:1 (NIV) “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?”
In Job 24, Job gives us one of the most heart-wrenching depictions of the plight of the poor and defenseless in Scripture. He witnessed the cruel and covetous ways the rich and the wicked exploited and oppressed the weak and poor. It troubled Job and caused him to question God’s presence and power. Because it seemed the wicked were getting away with their sin, Job cried out for understanding.
I don’t know about you, but I have experienced Job’s bewilderment. What he wrestles with transcends generations and cultures. It’s difficult to reconcile how, under God’s sovereign leadership and control, those who scheme, cheat, steal, kill and destroy seem to escape justice.
The hard part about studying Job is we don’t get a definite answer about justice and suffering. Though Job’s questions, and ours, are legitimate and deserving of answers, we won’t always get a direct answer to our question. God makes it clear His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
But God encourages us to seek wisdom and understanding. (James 1:5) Wrestling with God and His Word is good. It opens our hearts and minds to deeper understanding. It brings clarity. God uses it to redirect us and shift our focus from the question to the One to whom we direct the question. Along the path, God reveals His nature and His character. It’s in that unveiling that we experience His promises and presence in profound ways.
We don’t have God’s mind. We don’t share His perspective. But we are told, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). One day we will see with clarity what we cannot see now.
But, let me share a few truths we can know now.
God did not create evil and suffering.
When God created the world, He saw all that He had made and declared “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). When sin came into the world in Genesis 3, that is when evil and suffering entered the world.
Though suffering is hard, God promises to work it for our good.
We may not see the good immediately or at all this side of heaven, but God’s Word reveals that good is coming. In Romans 8:28, our heavenly Father promises to take the hard stuff of life and bring good from it. He extends this promise to those who love Jesus as their Lord and Savior and have been called according to His purpose. And, because God loves us unconditionally, we can trust Him through the process.
God will judge evil.
One day, God will eradicate all pain and sickness. (Revelation 21:4) One day all people will be held accountable before God. (Revelation 20:11-15) But that day has not yet come. God is merciful. He is waiting to give everyone a chance to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Our suffering pales in comparison to what God has in store for us.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
If you find yourself where Job is, run to Jesus. Open His Word. It’s in that quiet place, we will find wisdom for our pondering, peace for the moment, courage for the future and hope for eternity.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the confidence in knowing You are a just God. We know You despise injustice, and though it seems long in coming at times, in the end You guarantee justice. Thank You that You will triumph over all evil. Help me to not live in fear of evil. Help me to trust that You are in control and teach me how to pray for Your will to be done in this fallen and broken world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In Job 24:14-17, Job issues an indictment against the heartless rebels in society, those who... Read More
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