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JOB’S SUFFERING

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God testifies that Job was an upright and a blameless man. We read in the Bible that He feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:8). But we often wonder why he ever had to undergo the worst situations a child of God should ever go through. Job lost his wife, his children, wealth, health and even friends. We all can understand why the wicked suffer. But, why do the righteous suffer? Or rather, why should the righteous suffer? Let us look into this question. God in His sovereign allows His children to go through difficult times. I can at least think of four reasons why God permits His children to walk in those narrow paths.

To build a better character in us:

We understand the diamonds we treasure so much are nothing but coal developed under high pressure. Take for example the precious metal, gold. Gold can never be refined unless it is exposed to high temperatures. In the same way, God the potter only knows how to mould the clay. Many a time, we do not understand why we need to go through what we go through. But for everything God has a divine purpose.

Job says,’ When He has tested me I shall come forth like Gold (Job 23:10). Notice how Job compares God to a gold smith and us to gold. Do you want to become like pure gold? Do you want your life to shine for the Lord like diamonds? Then allow the Lord to test you. Get ready!

For preparing you for promotion:

We may wonder what promotion could come out of a loss. See, in the natural it doesn’t make any sense. But look at the life of Job! The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).

God permitted Job’s illness and the losses to show Satan that His servant Job will not turn from Him even in the face of the worst adversity. In the second chapter of Job, the Bible clearly says that the sickness is from the enemy. Look at the end! It is so glorious.

This is what God could do for you. If you are someone who is tried and tossed by the evil one, fear not. God is on your side. Soon you will see God restoring your losses in a greater way. Moses says to the Lord,’ Make us glad according to the day of affliction and the years in which we have seen evil’ (Ps 90:15). It is okay to pray that kind of prayer. Moses had to work hard tending sheep before God could use him mightily. God always prepares His children for a promotion. God loves to promote you to a greater level.

To prepare you for a greater service:

Is your broken hearted? Are you sick and tired of the situation you are in? The trials you go through will create in you a more brokenness. God is near to you says the Bible.

The psalmist says, ’A broken and a contrite heart, These, O God, You will not despise. (Ps 51:17). The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit (Ps 34:18). God looks on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit (Is 66:2).

We cannot think of a greater apostle than Paul in the New Testament. God prepared him for a greater service and he wrote the great epistles. No other disciple wrote greater number of books in the Bible than Paul. Look at what he says:

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed” (2Cor 4:8,9).

Olives need to be crushed in order for us to get the Olive oil. Grapes need to be crushed in order for us to enjoy the grape juice. We usually do not understand why we are being hard pressed on every side. But God has a purpose in every thing. You have a higher call. Just submit to the Lord!

God’s name might be glorified:

If you have never walked the valley of sickness, how are you ever going to experience God as your healer? If you never had a need, how will you appreciate God when He supplies your need? God always takes you to a place when you will realize that you cannot do anything without God. Jesus said, ‘without Me, you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).

When we are going through an affliction, the first thought that comes to our mind is if we have sinned against God. That need not be true all the time. The disciples asked Jesus when they met a blind man, ‘who sinned, his parents or he? Jesus said, ‘the sufferings of that man were neither because of his sins not his parents, but that the works of God might be manifested (John 9: 1-3). And Jesus healed the blind man. In John 11:4, at the sickness of Lazarus Jesus said, ‘ This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it’. And Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

God’s name is glorified when He delivers you out of the affliction. The Bible says, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all (Ps 34:19). ‘The righteous cry out and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles’ (Ps 34: 17). We should never forget that the trouble is only for a season.

May the Lord’s purposes be established in your life in the name of Jesus. Amen.