Our lives can be such a challenge, and we often struggle to make sense of our suffering. Sometimes we feel a little like Job—as though the bottom has dropped out of our life and everything we thought we could depend on has disappeared from view. The book of Job doesn’t provide us with neat and tidy answers about all the suffering we face, but it points to God as the One we can trust when things seem to be falling apart.
Sometimes we feel a little like Job.
In the first section of the book, we are witness to a conversation between God and the devil. The devil suggests that the only reason Job believes is because God has made him so prosperous. God knows better. He knows that Job is a man who will trust Him in every circumstance, so He allows Job to lose his home, his flocks and much of his family. Faced with such a set of escalating tragedies, Job doggedly continues to have faith in God.
The only meaningful answer Job receives is from God Himself.
A series of friends try to comfort or challenge Job, blaming him for his circumstances. But one of the messages of the book is that humans can never really fully understand what is going on in their lives or the lives of others. Their counsel falls flat. The only meaningful answer Job receives is from God Himself who tells Job that he’ll never fully comprehend what God is up to. We must trust God even when we don’t understand and when we are confused by His action (or seeming inaction). The only real answer to the problem of suffering is to admit that there is so much we will never understand—and to take our stand in faith by trusting in God’s wisdom and power.
Here’s a short video that highlights five key themes in the book of Job. May you be blessed by it.