As we continue through the drama of Job, we are met again with intense suffering, the glory of God and Job’s righteous response. It’s here that we see that: Suffering has a sovereign purpose in revealing the true nature of our heart toward God.
- Satan’s Continued Assault on God: v.1-6
These first two chapters in Job toggle back and forth between scenes in heaven and earth. Chapter 2 opens up back in heaven, and Satan is once again assaulting God and His people. We see God exposing Satan’s desire to destroy Job in verse 3. To this, Satan responds by suggesting again that Job is only interested in God for the blessing and benefits. In response, God puts His glory back on the line. It’s worth noting here, that Job did not know all that was going on in heaven as this was unfolding, much like you and I don’t know all that God is up to. While we may not know what God is doing in our suffering and trial, we can be confident that God is accomplishing His good purposes in the midst of that.
- Suffering with Integrity: v.7-10
Satan leaves the presence of God and it seems that he immediately afflicts Job. There is an intensity and a severity to Job’s suffering. The image of him scraping sores on an ash heap is enough to make any of us despondent. Yet, part of what the narrative reveals to us is that suffering is the pathway for followers of Jesus. It will look different from person to person, but to follow Christ is to know that your life will include suffering. Given that, how do we make suffering redemptive. We discussed a handful of ways that we do so:
We Let Suffering Remind us of the Gospel: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We Let Suffering Help Us Identify with Christ: 1 Peter 4:13; Hebrews 12:2
We Let Suffering Sanctify Us: Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4
We Let Suffering Foster and Abiding Trust in God: 1 Peter 4:19
We Let Suffering Reveal God’s Glory: Romans 8:18-21; 1 Peter 4:13
We Let Suffering Produce Glory For Us: 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Loved one, let the trouble, calamity, trial or suffering that you find yourself in be redemptive, in allowing it to move us into these spaces for God’s glory.
- The Comfort of Counselors: v.11-13
Finally, we see at the end of the chapter Job’s friends coming to comfort him. While most of the book we will find ourselves frustrated and disappointed with them, here they are spot on! Allow their example to challenge us as to how we should respond to those in our lives that are suffering. Notice that their desire is to bring comfort and sympathy. Further, they offer their presence. This is an immense gift that we can give. Far more than a few words, or a note, presence is a remarkable gift. Let us be people who are quick to offer our presence to those who are suffering. One final note. As we see the intense loneliness of Job in his suffering, let it remind us of the loneliness of Christ. Christ suffered alone, alienated from the perfect harmony and unity of the Trinity as He bore our sin and wrath so that we could be united to God. Given this, while we will still wrestle with feelings of loneliness, on this side of the cross, it’s a different loneliness than Job experienced, because those in Christ are never truly alone. Let that truth sustain and encourage you today.