Today, we want to delve into a profound theme that appears as a central dilemma in the Book of Job. Job, a man of faith, is confronted with severe trials, raising a question that resonates with many believers: Why do people suffer if God is good and loving? In Job 6:4–8 and 9:1–12, we see Job grappling with this agonizing question.
“The Almighty has pierced me with his arrows; their poison spreads through my body. God’s terrors are lined up against me. Don’t I have a right to complain? Wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food. People complain when there is no salt in their food. Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass? Does an ox bellow when it has food? Is tasteless food eaten without salt? Is there any flavor in the white of an egg? I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill. »Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire.” (Job 6:4-8)
Job does not question the existence of God but rather the reason for his own suffering. This question becomes especially complex considering that Job believes in a loving God. In contrast, an atheist in a godless world might view suffering as senseless, a consequence of harsh and indifferent natural forces without a higher purpose.
However, Job faces a profound dilemma. In Job 10:8–12, his agonizing thoughts are reflected. He poses the painful question that many of us have asked: Why do people suffer if there is a good and loving God? Why do even those considered “good,” like Job, experience seemingly senseless pain and trials?
The dilemma lies in the fact that Job and we, as believers, do not have the option to dismiss suffering simply as a random consequence of a godless universe. Our conviction in a loving God who created everything puts us in an internal conflict. Wrestling with this question is part of the existential challenges of our faith.
Read Job 38:1–3: How did God respond to Job’s questions and doubts?
God answers Job from the midst of a storm, posing questions that challenge Job’s human understanding. This encounter reveals that there are often things beyond our comprehension. Even though we may not have a complete answer to the “why” of suffering, we can trust that God is greater than our questions and that His love and wisdom can shine through the dilemma.
Let’s pray together in this assurance and ask God for wisdom as we grapple with the questions of suffering and faith in a loving God.
Gracious God, today we have engaged in deep reflection on the Book of Job and the agonizing question of human suffering. Job, a man of faith, has shown us that even those who believe in a loving God grapple with the dilemma of suffering.
Verses from Job 6:4–8 and 9:1–12 reflect Job’s struggle with this question. He does not question the existence of God but the reason for his own suffering. We face a profound dilemma as our conviction in a loving God confronts us with the seemingly senseless reality of suffering.
In Job 10:8–12, Job’s agonizing thoughts are mirrored, and his painful question about why people suffer when there is a good God resonates with us. Yet, O Lord, we recall Your response from the storm in Job 38:1–3. You show us that there are things beyond our understanding and that Your love and wisdom surpass our dilemma.
In this assurance, we come before You, seeking wisdom as we grapple with the questions of suffering and faith in a loving God. May we trust that Your love and wisdom can shine through the dilemma. Strengthen our faith as we anchor ourselves in Your unfathomable greatness. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.