The questions and answer of pain and suffering

Last night at our midweek Bible study we covered some ground in the book of Job that lends itself to some thought provoking questions you may have wrestled with or perhaps others have asked you about.  Namely, why does God permit suffering and pain?  Why does a young life get taken from us or why the massive catastrophes at times with greater loss of life?   One of the ways the book of Job answers this is that when you look at the opening chapters, God reveals to us that Satan is the adversary to God, he wants to bring pain. Yet God in His infinite wisdom may permit it but when He does He can use it to backfire on Satan and bring about instead great good.

Satan tested God and His people, specifically Job, to prove his twisted philosophy of “me first”. That if man would experience pain and suffering he would curse God.  That really, any man who worships God isn’t genuine, he will only follow Him as long as God’s blessings flow to him.  Job proved otherwise, “In all this (his sufferings) Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (1:22) & “in all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (2:10).

But back to the matter of God permitting pain and suffering. Isn’t God the giver of life in the first place? Shouldn’t He then have the right to take any life He desires?  Instead of “cursing” and questioning God’s justice and love shouldn’t we be thanking Him for the MANY blessings He does graciously give?  As Job rebuked his wife, “shalll we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (pain & suffering)?” (2:10).

A statistic I found states that roughly over 150,000 people die daily worldwide.  What makes one individual loss of life any different than myriads lost in a hurricane?  God know what He’s doing at all times, He is always just and always loving.  Satan wants us to think otherwise, remember he’s the “Adversary” to God.  So his mission is to get you to question God’s character and weaken your faith so he uses pain deftly to do that but God can use it even more skilfully to best Him and better your faith !    Job’s testing to his faith shows us ours will be too at times when God allows pain and suffering in your life. But rest assured, like Job you too can pass the test and be stronger in your faith as you focus on God’s love and be assured that He truly does work ALL things together for good (Rom.8:28).  So hang in there when testing comes, God’s still on the throne though Satan may be scheming.  Job said this excellent verse we need to fixate on “. . . when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (23:10) !!!

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