This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for quite sometime, but I just never seemed to have the right words or a full understanding on suffering. For a while, I struggled with the idea of suffering. I knew that God was all powerful and loving, but every time I opened up a search engine or talked to a friend, it seemed like another person was suffering or ill. So naturally, the question of why this was happening came upon my heart numerous times, though, I never allowed myself to invite this question in to actually find an answer. I held on to the fact that Jesus is good, loving and all knowing, and amidst my suffering I reached out to him and walked in his presence. I knew Jesus was with me, but I didn’t know why he allowed my suffering to happen.
When we think of God, we often imagine a man slightly bigger than us with a lot of power. With that idea we can easily forget the amount of love and wisdom he also has. We need to shift our conception of God and stop thinking of him as just the guy upstairs with all the power.
Think about the book of Job. Job was blameless and an upright man. He had a nice house, family, good friends and health. The book starts off with God having a group meeting with his angels. When Satan shows up God asks him what he’s been up to and Satan responds that he’s been checking things out on earth. God asks if he noticed Job who is honest, and devoted to God, though Satan thinks Job is only devoted to God because he has blessed him. So God lets Satan take away all of Job’s possessions to prove that Job will stay loyal to him with or without God’s blessings.
Job 38-41 puts our knowledge in perspective with God’s. We often feel like we know what is best and good, but clearly we don’t. We didn’t spin the heavens and earth into place, and we don’t understand little things like why an eagle mounts and makes its nest up high. So what makes us think we can understand how God should rule this world. If we aren’t in a place to evaluate natural things, then how can we be in a place to understand and evaluate eternal things?
It’s arrogant for us to assume, with our limited knowledge, that we are able to perceive every purpose of an infinitely wise God, when he is working out amazing purposes we cannot see. Although the purpose to Job’s suffering isn’t revealed to us in words, the book of Job has provided countless people hope through their suffering and is used as a resource across the world. Do you really think that was Satan’s intention to strengthen our relationship with Christ and for us to gain a deeper knowledge of who he is? Satan’s evil never wins, even his strategy to defeat the son of God only served to bring Salvation to us!
God always restores, and at the end of Job he gives back all that Satan had taken away in seven fold. There is always a purpose whether we see it or not, and compared to the glorious joy in eternity, even the worst of suffering on earth is like one drop in the ocean. God wants us to see more of him through our suffering, stop asking the why and start trusting the who.
Because our understanding is limited to things we can see on earth, if even that, there will be certain things that will escape our understanding or be difficult to comprehend. And with that being said, we need to trust God’s wisdom above our own.