Why do bad things happens to good people?
I would like to quote Philip Yancee's in his
book "The Jesus I Never Knew" to answer this question.
"As a child, I saw the miracles as
guarantees of personal safety. Did not Jesus promise," ...
not one will fall to the ground apart from the will of your
Father"? Later, I learned that this promise appears in the
midst of a series of dire warnings to the twelve disciples,
in which Jesus predicts their arrest, persecution, and
death. According to tradition, the eleven disciples who
survived Judas all died martyrs' deaths. Jesus suffered, as
did the apostle Paul and most early Christian leaders. Faith
is not an insurance policy. Or, as Eddie Askew suggests,
maybe it is: insurance does not prevent accidents, but
rather gives a secure base from which to face their
consequences." p. 181
Being a Christian does not guarantee us
safety from all evil. In fact the apostle Peter is quite
clear on this:
1 Pet 5:8-9 8 Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm
in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout
the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (NIV)
The suffering we go through in this world,
does not come from God, it comes from the devil, himself. In
fact he is quite nasty about it. He causes the suffering and
then accuses God for creating it. It is a little bit like
accusing the Americans of causing the collapse of the World
Trade Center. It is easy to blame others for our own doings.
Even Jesus was not spared from any harm. Far
from it, He was mocked, ridiculed, abandoned by all his
friends and died the most gruesome death that has ever
existed on earth. If Jesus went through hardship, why would
we expect to be exempt from that? The devil will not respect
our opinion in this aspect. In fact he wouldn’t respect any
opinions we may have.
Does this mean that nothing good comes out of all that
suffering? Scottish minister George Matheson wrote in his
journal: "My soul, reject not the place of thy prostration!
It has ever been the robing room for royalty. Ask the great
ones of the past what has been the spot of their prosperity;
they will say, “It was the cold ground on which I once was
lying.” Ask Abraham; he will point you to the sacrifice of
Moriah. Ask Joseph; he will direct you to his dungeon. Ask
Moses; he will date his fortune from his danger in the Nile.
Ask Ruth; she will bid you build her monument in the field
of her toil. Ask David; he will tell you that his songs came
from the night. Ask Job; he will remind you that God
answered him out of the whirlwind. Ask Peter; he will extol
his submission in the sea. Ask John; he will give the palm
to Patmos. Ask Paul; he will attribute his inspiration to
the light that struck him blind. Ask one more—the Son of
Man. Ask Him whence has come His rule over the world. He
will answer, “From the cold ground on which I was lying —the
Gethsemane ground; I received my sceptre there.”
As you can notice here, God's power is perfected in
weakness. The devil is defeated by his own schemes when he
attacks God's own people and they begin to rely more and
more on their Heavenly father.
It is amazing how patient God is when
confronted by all these accusations. One day, we will
experience true happiness!
Rev 21:4 4 And God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away. (KJV) Why
will this be possible? Rev 20:10 10 And the
devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and
shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV)
The devil will be dealt with. No more false
accusations. No more suffering caused by our enemy. We will
be free at last!
Will you accept Him now in your life? You
can be part of this paradise when Jesus comes back. The
choice is yours.
First of all we should understand that no
one of us is ‘good’. We have all fallen short of the glory
of God and are worthy of death. However, some have accepted
the sacrifice of Christ as atonement for their sins and are
‘saved’. These, whilst still sinful are considered justified
before God. Life has no guarantees. The only things that the
‘just’ are protected from are direct judgements from God.
Thus was Noah and his family saved from the flood. Lot was
saved out of Sodom. The Children of Israel were protected
from the plagues that befell Egypt, and the people of God
will be protected during the last plagues to fall on earth.
Things that are naturally occurring or are caused by mankind
fall on both the just and the unjust. Individuals may resort
to prayer and some will be miraculously spared on an
individual basis, but for the most part the guilty and the
innocent suffer together.
Matthew 5:45-AV That ye may be the children of your Father
which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on
Romans 2:11-AV For there is no respect of persons with God.
Deuteronomy 10:17-AV For the LORD your God [is] God of gods,
and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible,
which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
Another aspect to consider is a spiritual one. We have a
powerful enemy in Satan. Jesus Himself was not spared. Jesus
told us that we could not expect to be treated any better by
the world than He was.
John 15:20-AV Remember the word that I said unto you, The
servant is not greater than his lord. If they have
persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have
kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
We must understand that Satan is the prince of this world.
He won that right when Adam ‘sold out’ to him. He
represented earth in conferences of the Sons of God in this
Job 1:6-AV Now there was a day when the sons of God came to
present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also
Job 1:7-AV And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and
fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Jesus has paid the price for the redemption of the earth and
mankind and is now our ‘legal’ owner. However, Satan remains
in control until such time as Jesus returns and uses
whatever force is necessary to wrest control from him. Until
that happens, we are somewhat at the mercy of Satan and
those who he controls. They will one day be held accountable
for the evil things they have done, when God will exact
vengeance upon them.
It is a feature of the way God does things that we all have
a choice whether we will do good or whether we will do evil.
If God were to prevent evil from happening then it would be
the same as removing that choice from us. For that reason,
evil doers do bad things and the innocent, if they are their
victims, must suffer.
John 16:33-AV These things I have spoken unto you, that in
me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the
Acts 14:22-AV Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and]
exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
We have not been promised a smooth ride, quite the opposite.
But we have been promised a safe arrival. Our hope is the
promise of eternal life in paradise. That is the reward of
the Just. To get this reward we must put our faith in the
atoning sacrifice of Jesus who paid the penalty for our
sins. There is no other way to gain eternal life. When we
grasp that promise and believe that the God of heaven became
flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ, nothing the world
throws at us, not even our physical death, can touch us.
We are protected from evil, but not from the consequences of
evil things done by others. No one can pluck us from the
hand of God, once we have given ourselves to Him. He will
strengthen us in times of trouble, will take care of our
spirit when we die, and will reunite it with our new body at
the resurrection. The knowledge that we are safe for
eternity, is our peace and security.
I pray that all readers will avail themselves of this
wonderful insurance policy,
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I
had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when
I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (NIV) Psalm 73:2-3
A series of events recently caused me to ponder, as the
writer of Psalm 73; "Why do the wicked prosper?" That
question ranks up there as one of the big mysteries of life,
along with the question; "Why do bad things happen to good
As I studied the Bible, prayed and cried out to God for
wisdom, God led me on a journey where I considered several
questions, formed several theories and finally got some
pretty clear answers. Let me share my discoveries, and
hopefully shed some light on what I no longer consider a
stumbling block of the faith, but a foundation block.
God first asked me to define "prosper" and then to define
Although David did not write Psalm 73, he did write many
psalms questioning why God was allowing evil men to prosper.
Many of those evil men were part of King Saul's army. Saul
looked prosperous - he was King, he had a mighty army, lots
of money and power, yet he turned his back on God and was
plagued by an evil spirit. Did he prosper?
David, on the other hand, was a lowly shepherd boy. He was
also a "man after God's own heart." Later when God did
fulfil His promise to make David the king, David abused that
power to woo Bathsheba to himself and then kill her husband
Uriah (2 Samuel 11). David was a mighty king with great
riches and victories, and despite his sin, shared in the
bloodline of Christ. Was David wicked? Did David prosper?
Finally, let's take my life (or yours if you have asked the
same question.). Do we prosper? I personally live a
wonderfully comfortable life, surrounded by friends and
loved ones, free to worship God and bask in His mercy and
grace. Furthermore, I know that I will spend eternity in
heaven with God. I am certain and positive of my place in
God's kingdom. Are there times when I am wicked?
Unfortunately I must say yes, and I could introduce you to
people who can vouch for that, and might have asked the same
question regarding me (Why do the wicked prosper?).
Now I ask the final question. "What's it to ya?"
Who are we to question God's judgment? Why are we
concentrating on someone else's moral condition?
Only God knows each person's heart and each person's
destiny. It may look like others are "getting away with
murder." In actuality, each one of us got "away with murder"
when Jesus Christ, God's only son died a horrible death on a
cross and faced separation from His Father, when he paid the
price for our wickedness (sins).
To quote David, one who asked the same question and got the
same answer. "Do not fret because of evil men or be envious
of those who do wrong. . .Be still before the Lord and wait
for Him." Psalm 37:1 & 7a.
I think that there can be one of three
1. God is trying to get our attention. We may not be aware
of a sin and He therefore allows us to suffer in order for
us to lean on Him and His word. An example of this is Job.
He was considered righteous by God yet a lot of bad things
happened to him. God certainly got Job's attention and he
ended up being even more righteous.
2. We are part of this world. By virtue of the fact that we
live on the planet we are under attack from the devil. God
provides us with the armour but we still have to fight the
battle here and now. Each and every day we have to
consciously put on the armour of the Lord as He has given it
to us in Ephesians 6:11-24. Then we can endure to the end.
and our prize is found in Romans 5:3-4"We also boast of our
troubles, because trouble produces endurance,endurance
brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope."
3. Some times we are just in the wrong place at the wrong
time and have to suffer the consequences of another persons
actions and decisions. Even in this situation the Lord can
use us if we are led by Him. Instead of blaming others or
even ourselves we can be praising the Lord because this is
what he wants us to do. Romans 12:12 "Let your hope keep you
joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times"
and Romans 8:28 "We know that in all things God works for
good with those who love him, those whom he has called
according to his purpose." ,teach us how to handle
adversity. If we rest in the Lord and have faith that
whatever happens in our lives both good and bad will
ultimately be for our benefit then we can "rejoice in the
Lord always and again I say rejoice."Phil 4:4
The question: Why do bad things happen to
First reaction: The Word says "There is none
good but the Father." So therefore; "bad" things do not
happen to good people.
We need to define the word "bad." Does that
mean we will suffer times of severe and painful trial? So
did Jesus and we are to emulate Him. If that is ever going
to be possible then we must be willing to partake also of
His suffering. So, in this instance, it is not "bad" it is
an opportunity for SHARED SUFFERING.
We also have to address our perception of
what constitutes "bad". We hesitate not to ask God to bless
us but we seem to think we know what that blessing should
look like. Sometimes the best gifts He gives are disguised
as hard and painful times. It is not the gift itself on
which we must focus but on the result. Like a child who
cries at the thought of another shot to prevent tetanus,
he/she is unable to see the result, at the time of the
innoculation, of good health. Bad things can worketh
PATIENCE and TRUST.
Job was tried in every way possible. He was
a man who intimately knew loss. His wife sneared at him
demanding he curse God. This is comparable to thinking that
we, as "good" people are not deserving of such hardship. Why
not? Why not us? If God can not count on His own to lead the
way, on whom can He count? Hard times can be a call into His
Job's FAITH was being tried and refined.
There are times we are hand picked by God to demonstrate how
to remain faithful through hard times. Remember Job's three
friends? They were too busy condemning Job to have learned
the lesson. Everytime Jesus was richly blessed by the
Father, He was immediately sent out to the wilderness. The
wilderness is a lonely place of thirst and hunger. It is a
place where one can be hard pressed, deeply pressed, shaken
and tempted. It can shake even the firmest of resolves. But
on the other side...once you have come through...the gift is
Why do we get an opportunity to have these
attributes worked into us? Because "He who began a good work
in you, will be faithful to complete it." This is the life
He called you to. A life of walking in faith when the pain
of life blinds you so you are ready to give an answer for
your hope in season and out. A life of KNOWING there is no
strength on which you stand and breathe but that which He
The Bible says "it rains on the just and the
unjust". The Bible is full of many wonderful promises but it
never says that we will not suffer, actually it says the
opposite. In many places it says that we MUST suffer with
Christ in order to rein with Christ. Sometimes we think to
highly of ourselves, thinking we should not have to endure
hard things, but Christ who was ruler over us all suffered
horrible things, how can we think that we are in better. Job
was a righteous man in all things, but look at the things
that he suffered. Many times we show the world a light by
the way we act when we are in hard things. Roses smell
wonderful but their fragence is even greater when they are
crushed. Here's a little poem, I love what it says: I walked
a mile with pleasure, She chattered all the way, But I left
none the wiser for all she had to say. I walked a mile with
Sorrow and never a word said she, But Oh the things that I
have learned Since Sorrow walked with me.
Napier, April D LRN
A time-old question, and one that doesn't have an easy
answer, but this is what I think. God is perfect, and so is
His will for the world. However, human beings and the world
are not perfect, and I think this is part of what explains
this hard truth. Being created in God's image, human beings
have the feeedom of choice, and unfortunately, abuse them
freedom very frequently. Often, one of the results of this
abuse is causing bad things to happen to good people. Very
often, this serves as a reminder that all need God. Another
reason, too, is that God is often able to bring good results
out of tragic or bad circumstances. Sometimes it shows the
person under affliction that they are stronger than they
realized, sometimes it's to teach a lesson, and sometimes it
allows certain events to happen that would not have happened
otherwise. I don't have all the answers to this, but one
thing I am sure of is that God will not allow us to be
afflicted beyond what we can handle. He is faithful and
just, and He takes care of us, even when we may not realize
it. In Christ,
Bad things happen to ALL people. Not just good or bad
people, but ALL people. We can't even begin to understand
the why's, but we just need to remember that all things
happen for a reason to complete the Lord's perfect plan for
us on earth. We needn't question or wonder why. We need to
just have faith and trust that whatever things happen, the
Lord will turn goodness out of it for His glory. He will
continue His plan until it is time for those who believe to
join Him in His most perfect kingdom. Once there, we will
THEN understand all the reasons and have all of our
questions answered. Until then, we need to just stay strong
in Him and keep steadfast in our faith. May ALL be blessed.
BLESSINGS TO YOU! DeeDee
Listen to what God says!
Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that
it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have separated you and your God, and
your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not
hear you (Isaiah 59:1-2). God has not left us. His ear is
not closed to us. He has not turned from us - we have turned
Question: I feel that according to scripture
God is in control of everything that happens - He is God.
Sometimes things are allowed to happen to us because God
wants to let us see that we are not as spiritual as we gave
ourselves credit for. It makes us realize our dependency on
God. We can do all things through Christ Jesus. But this is
the Key - through Christ Jesus. My question is, why do
terrible things that seem to destroy godly people happen?
They are doing their best to live for the Lord, to the Best
of their ability, as they search the scriptures to live a
better Christian life.
Answer: There have been a number of books
written on that subject. There is even one by that title -
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner.
James Dobson has written, When God Doesn't Make Sense
Phillip Yancey has written, Where Is God When It Hurts? and
Disappointment with God.
All of these books address the subject of
your question, "Why do terrible things that seem to destroy
godly people happen? People that are doing their best to
live for the Lord and search the scriptures to live better
christian lives." (that is not an exact quotation, but it
gives the intended meaning.)
Let me begin by saying, "Why God would allow
a certain thing to happen," is impossible to answer in many
cases. God who knows the end from the beginning has more
information to base His decision on than we who are
creatures of time and space. We need to begin by
acknowledging the fact that "sometimes terrible things
happen to godly people." Since no one can deny this, the
challenge is, how shall we cope with this reality? Sometimes
terrible things happen to godly people because they are
godly, as with Jesus, the apostles, and martyrs from the
early church until now. Part of our problem comes from the
fact that we think that when we are trying to serve the Lord
to the best of our ability that would should be protected
from painful things in life. However, life is a catalyst for
problems. Life is hard. Life is not fair. Life will not
devote itself to making us happy. Jesus said, "In this world
you shall have tribulation..." He didn't give details as to
why except for the on going battle between good and evil in
the world. Christian couples have babies that are deformed.
Christians have deceases, alzheimers, cancer, and any other
dreadful deceases. "Time and chance happen to them all"
(Ec.9:11). Also read Psalms 73.
Even though these things happen through
various natural means that causes such illnesses, Satan
tries to use them to destroy our faith. Amy Carmichael
developed crippling arthritis and spent years confined to a
bed. Once while she was disoriented because of pain some
people came and stole her bed and left her lying on the
floor. Being confined to a bed kept her from doing all she
wanted to do as a missionary in India. In one of her letters
she wrote, "I may be in Nero's prison but I am not Nero's
prisoner, I am a prisoner of the Lord." Paul was literally
in Nero's prison, but he too called himself a prisoner of
the Lord. Both of these saints suffered - one in a prison
made of stone and steel bars and the other in a prison of
affliction made of inflammation and swollen joints.
Amy wrote a beautiful poem called "No Scar".
One line says:
he have followed far
has no wound nor scar?
There are so many painful things in life
that we have no control over. The only thing we have a
choice in is our attitude and how we handle the problem.
Pain inevitable, but to be destroyed by it is optional. Amy
and Paul both suffered a great deal of pain, but they
endured. Paul describes their secret of endurance best in 2
Timothy 4:7: "...I have kept the faith...." Perhaps the
answer to your question is best found in the words of the
We'll talk it over in the bye and bye.
We'll talk it over my sweet Lord and I.
ask the reason; He'll tell me WHY
we talk it over in the bye and bye.
Ministry of Lorain County Free Net Chapel
Bailey Gertrude E NSSC
[ I know that this is rather long; but it is
necessary to help you understand "Why bad things happen to
good people" Job was a prime example of this and with this
in mind here is the answer. Keep in mind that god loves us
all and as with Job...it is the handiwork of satan...not
God. God however, does allow the testing of our faith as you
will see He did with Job, to simply answer this wiht a small
paragraph doesn't explain it properly or give you the full
understanding of the question above.]
Suffering is a test. It's a test of our faith, our
character, our values, and our love for God. It's a test
that can make us bitter or better. It can make us bitter if
we jump to the wrong conclusions about why God has allowed
our pain. It can make us better if our eyes are opened to
the wonder, power, wisdom, goodness, and love of God. Job
went into the fire a good and godly man. He came out better
for his trouble. We pray that through what is written here,
you will come to a deeper appreciation not only of Job but
of the God he learned to trust as never before.
When the telephone brings us bad news, or when the doctor's
quiet voice says the words we dreaded to hear, how do we
respond? Emotionally, do we become saddened, or angry?
Mentally, do we become detached, or philosophic?
Spiritually, are we hurt, or puzzled? Do we ponder our
situation in the light of what we have been taught about the
goodness and fairness of God? In all probability, we will
question why this is happening to us. After all, we've been
led to believe that God is a God of love. We've been told
over and over again that He treats His people right. We have
heard that God wants us healthy and prosperous. So why are
we getting all this bad news now? Why is He hammering us
with blow after blow? We may begin to ask: How could God do
this to me? Why couldn't He have waited a few more years?
The world is full of people worse than I. Why couldn't He
have hit one of them? I've been faithful to God. Why is He
treating me like this? These are not unusual responses. In
fact, a man in the Old Testament named Job asked similar
questions. Before we look into his book to see the
conclusions he came to, let's look at some of the wrong
answers people give for suffering.
Why does God allow suffering? What kind of God lets terrible
affliction strike good people while He lets bad people off
the hook? Here are some popular explanations that express
various points of view. God Must Be Down on Me. When
suffering and trouble come, some people feel that they must
have done something to make God mad at them. A woman who
gets bad news about cancer, for example, may say to herself,
"My failures as a mother are finally catching up with me."
Others may feel that they are "taking it on the chin"
because God is angry at someone close to them. Or a teenage
boy may say, "God gave my dad a heart attack because of
something I did."
God Doesn't Care. These people react to suffering by
thinking that God just doesn't care about them. They
transfer their low view of themselves to God, feeling that
they are not worthy of His attention. They believe that if
He really is concerned about mankind, He is giving His
attention to more important people. If He cared, He would
answer their pleas and heal them of their disease or take
away their sorrow. God Isn't in Control. Other people
believe that the circumstances of life are out of God's
reach. They are convinced that even though He can control
many things, God cannot keep the harmful effects of our
world from reaching us. He may rule heaven, but He cannot
rule earth. Their view of God's power is limited. They
conclude that there are some things He just cannot keep from
happening. God Doesn't Stop Satan. People who hold this view
conclude that since Satan is the "prince of the power of the
air" (Eph. 2:2) and "the god of this age" (2 Cor. 4:4), God
is only in control of heaven. Because of that, Satan can do
whatever he wants with us. And because we are God's
children, Satan focuses his attention on us. These people
sometimes say that Satan doesn't pay much attention to us as
long as we are not serving God. But if we begin to overcome
sin aggressively, or if we start to have success in leading
others to Christ, then Satan sends some affliction to us
like he did to Job. He wants to discourage us and stop our
spiritual growth. God Isn't Fair.
Some people honestly believe they are suffering because God
is not treating them fairly. They are convinced that He has
shortchanged them, while giving others more than they
deserve. Such people are wrapped up in human comparisons.
They determine who deserves what on purely human terms. "Why
me?" they ask. "Why do I always have to get the short end of
the stick?" In so doing, they are accusing God of being both
unjust and unfair. They are echoing the cry of the prophet
Habakkuk: "Why do You hold Your tongue when the wicked
devours one more righteous than he?" (1:13). Job could have
responded to his suffering in any one of these ways. In
fact, at times each of these thoughts may have gone through
his mind. But in the end, Job had learned to trust God while
enduring the worst kinds of suffering. This should help us
in our times of trouble as well.
"When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (23:10).
Before we can understand the experience of Job, we need to
review his times and his story. Was Job a real person? Some
have said that the man from Uz was not a real person. They
say he represents all who suffer. But the evidence, both
from the Bible and from history, indicates that Job actually
lived in the Middle East long ago, and that he did
experience the things recorded in the book that bears his
The Bible treats Job as a real person. In Ezekiel 14:20, for
example, Job was named with two other men, Daniel and Noah,
as examples of holiness. And in the New Testament, James
used Job as an example of patience (5:11). Archeologists
have found that there were several men of history named Job
(Hebrew, Iyyob). The earliest of these lived about 2000 BC.
While none of them was the Job of the Bible, they show that
the name was commonly used. What kind of man was he? Two
phrases summarize what we know about Job. He was: A good and
godly man. The Bible tells us that Job was a person of
strong character and unparalleled godliness. In 1:8 this is
what God said about Job: Have you considered My servant Job,
that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and
upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? We are also
told that Job offered sacrifices every day on behalf of his
children in case they had sinned in their days of feasting
(1:5). Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he served as the
A prosperous man. The Lord had blessed Job with great
wealth. He owned so many domesticated animals and had such a
large household of workers and servants that he was called
"the greatest of all the people of the East" (1:3). When did
Job live? It is very likely that Job lived in Abraham's
time. We can conclude this because, like Abraham, he lived
more than 100 years (42:16), he was priest for his family
(1:5), and His wealth was in domesticated animals (1:3).
Further, no mention of Israel was made, and the mention of
Sabeans (1:15) and Chaldeans (1:17) fits the time
historically. All of these factors indicate that the events
of Job appear to fit chronologically into the Bible at about
Genesis 12. Where did Job live? Job was from "the land of
Uz" (1:1). The exact location of Uz is not known, but two
are suggested. Some scholars locate Uz northeast of
Palestine in the land of Aram (modern Syria; point A on
map). They do this because Genesis 10:23 states that Uz was
the son of Aram. Further, an eastern location is supported
by the fact that Job was referred to as "the greatest of all
the people of the East" (1:3). Other scholars, however,
citing Lamentations 4:21, place Uz south of Palestine in
Edom. They also point out that Eliphaz, one of Job's three
friends, was from Teman, a city in Edom.
Let's take a look at the story of Job so we can see the
details more clearly in their context. The events take place
in two locations: in heaven and in the land of Uz. When
Satan appeared at an assembly of "the sons of God" (angels),
the Lord asked him where he had been (1:6,7). When Satan
said that he had been roaming the earth, God asked him,
"Have you considered My servant Job?" (v.8). With attention
drawn to Job's goodness, Satan then mocked God by implying
that if Job had not been so richly blessed by the Lord, he
never would have considered serving Him. Testing. So God
gave Satan permission to test Job. It's as if the Lord said,
"Let's test your theory. Take it all away from him. We'll
just see what happens." God placed Job into His enemy's
hands for two cycles of oppression. First, Job would lose
his possessions and his children. Then, he would be
afflicted with a loss of health and a loss of his reputation
in the community. The blows fell upon Job one after another.
Nothing was left. Everything he had worked for was gone. He
had buried each of his children. His mind was in agony. His
body was filled with pain. His heart was burdened with
sorrow. And his wife, her own heart filled with grief,
advised Job, "Curse God and die!" (2:9). Although he was
grieved and broken, Job did not collapse. He responded to
his trouble in a way that revealed his inner character--his
godliness. When crushed, worship flowed out in his words,
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the
name of the Lord" (1:21).
Inadequate Consolation. Three of Job's friends, Eliphaz,
Bildad, and Zophar, came to the side of their suffering
friend. A fourth person, a younger man named Elihu, listened
in. These friends, however, did more than just console Job.
After sitting in silence 7 days, they began to give their
own explanations for his suffering. In three cycles of
speeches, they assumed that Job was guilty of some terrible
sin. They said that God was punishing him and that he must
confess his sin before God would take away his trouble. Hurt
and frustrated, Job answered each of his critics' speeches
by insisting that he was not guilty of the kind of sins they
were accusing him of. When he remembered how happy he had
once been, it made his situation all the more unbearable.
Job cried out to God from the depths of his misery. The
Storm Rises. (Unable to stand it any longer, Elihu broke in
to offer four separate speeches (chs.32--37). As a great
storm began to rise, he criticized Job's friends for
accusing Job of evils they could not prove. He criticized
Job for defending his own honor at the expense of God.
Things were building to a climax as the storm swept in upon
The Voice of God. Finally the storm broke--and out of its
fury came the voice of God (38:1--40:2). Job answered; then
God spoke again. With a long series of penetrating
questions, He called attention to His might, revealing His
character to Job--majestic in holiness, limitless in power,
and deserving of his trust. What could Job do? Completely
overwhelmed and filled with awe, he acknowledged God's right
to be God, fell at His feet, and repented in dust and ashes,
In the presence of God's creative wisdom and power, he was
humbled and silenced. Even though he had not received an
explanation for his suffering, his perspective had been
renewed. Restoration. In a brief epilogue, we are told of
Job's restoration. His possessions were increased, he was
given seven sons and three beautiful daughters, and he lived
another 140 years before he died. In the cycle of Job's
suffering we can see our own response to terrible,
heart-breaking calamity. Job grieved; we grieve. Job
lamented; we cry out for sympathy. Job was falsely accused;
so sometimes are we. Job remained strong in his faith; so
can we. Yes, we can learn from this book. We can learn about
ourselves. We can learn about our own deep and powerful
emotions, our own sorrow, and our own capacity to rise to
great heights of faith. Even more, we can learn about God
and His role in human suffering. And, as we will see in the
pages to follow, that is what will help us to understand and
endure the afflictions that come into our lives.
To grasp the tremendous force of this book,
we must keep in mind the exceptional character of Job. He
was a man of virtue and integrity--a man who believed in God
and obeyed Him in a way that is exemplary to every
Christian. God's Testimony. As we have already seen, God
said that Job was a man who feared Him and hated evil. We
also have the testimony of God (by the inspiration of
Scripture) that Job did not sin in the first two rounds of
his temptation (1:22; 2:10). Job's Testimony. Job's critics
accused him of being guilty of some terrible sin. Eliphaz
accused him of being insensitive to human need (22:4-11).
Job defended himself against these charges by citing his
works for suffering humanity (chs.29,30):
He rescued the poor and the orphaned (29:12). He helped the
dying and the widowed (v.13). He was eyes to the blind and
feet to the lame (v.15). He was a father to the needy and a
friend to strangers (v.16). He rescued the oppressed (v.17).
He wept for the troubled and the poor (30:25). He went on to
name the sins he had not committed: Lust (31:1-4).
What Job was charged with:
Cheating in business (vv.5-8). Marital unfaithfulness
(vv.9-12). Insensitivity to human need (vv.13-23). Greed and
idolatry (vv.24-28). Gloating over fallen enemies
(vv.29-32). Hypocrisy (vv.34,35).
Testimony of Scripture. Two passages of the Bible indicate
the virtuous life of Job. Ezekiel 14:14,20. In these verses,
Job's righteousness was compared to that of Noah and Daniel.
James 5:11. James pointed to Job as a model of perseverance.
Job stood the testing of his faith without falling. On the
basis of these passages, we must admire the outstanding
virtue and integrity of Job. No wonder the Lord pointed to
him as an example!
THE DISCIPLINARY PURPOSES FOR TEMPTATION
Satan's purpose for afflicting Job was to
tempt him to deny the Lord. In a sense, suffering always
brings with it the temptation to sin against God. But it
also gives us a wonderful opportunity to testify to His
The book of Job is the inspired account of one man's intense
suffering. But it is more than that. The events of earth
were the counterpoint to a dramatic confrontation in heaven.
The opponents were not only Job versus his affliction, but
also God versus Satan. In this sense, then, the book of Job
is the record of a representative experience. Job's
reputation--his faith and virtue--was severely tested. The
way he handled the series of tragedies that came into his
life reflected his response to God's character. In a similar
manner, the way our faith survives testing gives witness to
the knowledge of the One in whom we have put our trust.
Because of this, when we look at the book of Job we also see
God. And what we learn about God through Job will strengthen
us for the times of suffering that come our way. We will
study five different viewpoints of God from the book of Job.
We will see God according to: Satan
As we probe the depth and reality of Job's
experience we will also look deeply into God's character.
And we will find that when suffering comes, He is the One
who is powerful enough, good enough, and wise enough to be
trusted. The angels were assembled before God. For some
reason, Satan was there with them (1:6). The tension was
high between Satan and the Lord. In fact, the name Satan
means "adversary." At issue was God's place in man's heart.
Satan had been roaming the earth, and we may assume that he
had observed the extent of man's rebellion. It was then that
the Lord called attention to Job and pointed out, "There is
none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one
who fears God and shuns evil" (1:8). But Satan accused Job
of following God for materialistic reasons, and he implied
that God was his accomplice because He had blessed him.
"Take everything away," he suggested, "and Job will curse
You to Your face" (1:11).
Satan's strategy had two goals. First, he
wanted to cast doubt on Job's motives for righteousness. God
was "paying him off," he insinuated, like a political
candidate today who trades votes for $50 bills. Second,
Satan was attacking God's right to be followed and obeyed. A
follower who is bought, after all, is not a true follower at
all. He is serving himself. If Satan could prove that Job
was serving himself and not God, he thought he would have
evidence that no one loves God for who He is. God accepted
Satan's challenge and put Job into Satan's hands. The devil
was free to afflict Job, but he had to stay within certain
limits (1:12; 2:6). Satan must have been delighted as he
left the assembly, for he was convinced that it would be
easy for him to get Job to deny the Lord.
This behind-the-scenes interchange between God and Satan
helps us see into God's character more clearly. For example:
God not only knows who leads a blameless and
upright life, but He is also pleased to show Satan that not
all of mankind follows his evil ways. God is still faced
with rebellion. The devil is in conflict with God, and we
are the battleground. God is our defender; Satan is our
adversary. God is in control. To be challenged is not to be
dethroned. God has given Satan room to operate--even to
enter the assembly of the angels. But he cannot overstep his
This exchange between God and Satan carries some valuable
lessons for us when affliction comes. Our suffering may be
for a supernatural cause. Job did not know that God had
singled him out or that Satan was masterminding the attack.
God limits Satan. Though the devil is the "god of this age,"
he can go only as far as God will allow. God knows all about
us, just as He knew about Job. We do not go unnoticed. God
uses our suffering to show His glory. Job's response was to
witness to God's grace.
Let's shift our attention back to earth. An unsuspecting Job
has begun the day like any other. He is unaware that Satan
has been granted permission to attack him. But before the
day is over, he will experience profound loss and deep
sorrow. As we look into the crucible of Job's suffering, we
will see things that seem to suggest that God had changed
into an angry, unjust, uncaring, and sadistic Creator.
The First Assault. A succession of
messengers rushed breathlessly up to Job, each bearing bad
Message 1. Sabeans had swept down from the hills and stolen
all of Job's oxen and donkeys. All the herdsmen except the
messenger had been killed (1:14,15). Message 2. Fire had
fallen from heaven and destroyed Job's sheep and all the
shepherds but the one who brought the report (1:16). Message
3. Raiding Chaldeans had taken his camels and killed all the
attendants but the one who brought the message (1:17).
Message 4. A mighty wind had struck the house in which Job's
children were dining, killing everyone except the servant
who came with the news (1:18,19).
Job was devastated. He had received no
forewarning. The news had come to him in rapid succession.
Before one messenger stopped speaking, another rushed up.
All that he had worked for over the years, and all that was
dear to him, was gone. His mind went numb, and his heart was
filled with sorrow. Even so, Job did not lose his confidence
in God. He easily could have. How simple it would have been
to change in view of his changing circumstances. How quickly
and (apparently) justifiably he could have vented his anger
at God and cursed His name. But as trouble and pain rushed
in like a flood, Job did not change his view of God. True,
he sorrowed. He shaved his head and tore his robe to show
his grief (1:20), which was the custom of his day. But he
worshiped God and blessed His name, saying: The Lord gave,
and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord
(1:21). His herds were gone and his beloved children were
dead, yet he did not stop trusting God.
The Second Assault. Satan does not give up
easily. He reappeared in heaven and challenged God again,
implying that a person can withstand all external attack,
but if he himself is affected he will fall. So he asked
permission of God to attack Job again. This time Satan
attacked Job's body. He afflicted him with ugly, ulcerous
sores that caused him to withdraw from everyone. His honor,
his dignity, and his place in society were gone. His wife,
perhaps expressing the depths of her own sorrow, advised
him, "Curse God and die!" (2:9). What more could happen to
him? Why should he even continue to live? Still Job did not
deny the Lord. "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and
shall we not accept adversity?" he asked. Once more we are
told, "In all this Job did not sin with his lips" (2:10).
His faith remained.
God has not promised us an affliction-free
life. God may let us lose what it has taken us a lifetime to
accumulate. The same God who sends us good may let us suffer
physical or emotional anguish. God does not change because
our circumstances change. In bad times He is still a good
God.There is nothing wrong with grieving. Job mourned his
loss; so may we. Job's assault came in waves, so we too may
have more than one bad thing happen to us at once. We do not
need to lose our spiritual integrity during affliction. Even
Job's wife urged him to "curse God and die," yet he stood
firm. Suppose you are in the hospital with a dreaded
disease. You are suffering and discouraged. Then the news
comes that friends are going to visit you. You are glad,
because you need their sympathy and encouragement.
This was Job's situation. He assumed that his friends had
come to listen to his lament and to console him. But what
did he hear? Words of comfort and encouragement? No! They
ended up telling him that it was all his fault--like a
person who visits a cancer patient and tells him that God is
punishing him because he is covering up some terrible sin.
Job's three visitors, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, were
wise, articulate, and respected men of the Middle East. When
they heard the news of Job's affliction, they came to
console him as custom demanded.
The three men sat in sympathetic silence
beside Job for 7 days, the accustomed time set aside for
mourning. They did not speak until Job spoke first (ch.3).
They listened intently as Job poured out his feelings. But
they felt that Job was not being honest--that what he was
saying cast shadows on the justice of God. So they set out
to defend the honor of the Lord. They spoke in turn for
three cycles of speeches. Job responded to each of their
addresses, as the following chart indicates.
SPEAKER FIRST CYCLE SECOND CYCLE THIRD CYCLE Eliphaz 4:1
5:27; 15:1-35 22:1-30 Job 6:1,7:21 16:1 17:16 23:1 24:25
Bildad 8:1-22 18:1-21 25:1-6 Job 9:1,10:22 19:1-29 26:1-14
Zophar 11:1-20 20:1-29 Job 12:1 14:22 21:1-34
The three men lived In different regions
around the Middle East. They were different in temperament,
yet each knew a lot about God. We will look at the counsel
each of them gave to Job. ELIPHAZ: "Come clean, Job." Since
Eliphaz was the first to respond, it's assumed that he was
the eldest. He came from Teman, a region known for its wise
men. This philosopher/theologian, who was the most
considerate of the three, spoke from the wisdom of his own
life and walk with God. Eliphaz' major point was that people
do not suffer without a cause. Experience had taught him
that affliction was God's punishment for sin. His view is
summarized by this excerpt from his first speech:
Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where
were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen, those
who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. By the
blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His anger
they are consumed (4:7-9).
Eliphaz did not directly accuse Job of
harboring some terrible sin; he merely implied it. But that
was the only conclusion one could draw from his first
address. In his second speech, however, Eliphaz spoke more
bluntly. "Your iniquity teaches your mouth . . . Your own
mouth condemns you" (15:5,6). Again appealing to observation
(vv.17,18), he assumed Job's guilt. Eliphaz' third speech
was an open charge of guilt. Almost cruelly, he accused Job
of being filled with evil. "Is not your wickedness great,
and your iniquity without end?" he asked (22:5). He
concluded by demanding Job's repentance (vv.22-26).
BILDAD: "You're lying, Job." Bildad, a resident of Shuah,
was a hard-nosed traditionalist. He dismissed Job's
protestations of innocence as "strong wind" (8:2). He even
said that Job's children had died as punishment for sin.
These were hardly words of comfort to a man who had
faithfully sacrificed on behalf of his children (1:5).
Bildad assumed Job's terrible guilt on the basis of the
past. Here is his philosophy:
For inquire, please, of the former age, and consider the
things discovered by their fathers; . . . Will they not
teach you and tell you? (8:8,10).
In his second speech, Bildad spoke in harsh,
graphic terms of the consequences of evil: the sinner's lamp
is snuffed out (18:5), his light is dark (v.6), a trap lies
in his path (v.10), and terror eats away at his skin
(v.13)--a reference to Job's physical condition. His third
speech is very brief. It exalts God and compares man to a
maggot--obviously what he thought of Job for insisting on
his own integrity at the expense of God (25:6).
ZOPHAR: "You're hopeless, Job." Zophar of Naamah, a
moralist, was arrogant in his orthodoxy. He reasoned that
because God is fathomless and almighty, He "knows deceitful
men" (11:11). Therefore, if Job would put away his evil, God
would restore him (v.14). His rigid moralistic view is
summarized in this excerpt from his second speech:
Do you not know this of old, since man was placed on earth,
that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of
the hypocrite is but for a moment? (20:4,5).
Zophar did not offer a third speech. He probably just
dismissed Job from his mind as a hopeless case.
ELIHU: "Let a young man speak." While all
this was going on, a young man sat quietly at the edge of
the circle. He listened carefully to all that was said. When
the cycle of speeches was finally over, he arose to speak.
As the stormclouds began to gather, he angrily expressed his
views in four speeches recorded in chapters 32--37. In his
first speech, Elihu acknowledged that he was with men older
and wiser than he (32:6-9). He pointed out that when Job had
protested his innocence, no one had proven him guilty
(v.12). He went on to suggest that a person who is suffering
may not be enduring punishment but may be receiving a call
to uprightness (33:16-18). If men were to be punished to the
degree they deserved, none would survive (34:10-15).
Elihu paused, but Job did not respond as he had to the
others. So he pressed on to point out that Job had made some
hasty remarks about the Lord. Further, he too implied that
Job's sin had brought about his suffering (34:10-12,31-37).
In chapters 36 and 37, Elihu repeated his basic
premise--that a just God would not make a good man
suffer--and then closed by saying that God's ways are beyond
man's knowledge. When Elihu was finished, all the talking
was done. The wisdom of men had not brought satisfaction.
Instead, the emotions of Job had risen with the mounting
thunderclouds. The silence between the men was mirrored by
the pre-storm stillness. There awaited a more authoritative
voice: the thundering voice of God. And from the storm He
The three friends of Job were accurate in
their view of God as the One who punishes sin (8:20; 11:6;
18:5-21) They were correct in their belief in God as the One
who knows men's hearts (11:11; 22:12-18; 34:21). They saw
God as their Maker and the Sustainer of heaven and earth
(4:17; 5:10). They were right in as the One who chastens His
own (5:17,18; 36:8-12). They believed in God's justice.
That's why they assumed Job must be sinning (5:15,16;
34:10-14). We can learn from Job's friends that we can know
some things about God but not everything. We can increase
the suffering of our friends by jumping to wrong conclusions
about them. We can speak on behalf of God to our suffering
friends just as Job's friends spoke to him. We need to
beware of assuming that we know what God is doing in someone
else's life or in our own.
It's one thing when affliction strikes someone else; quite
another when it hits you. Even a close friend or loved one
cannot know the pain you are experiencing. The time comes
when the phone stops ringing, the visitors all leave, the
pastor returns to his office, and you are left alone to cope
with the reality of your suffering. It's then that the hard
questions force themselves to the front of your mind. It's
then that you cry out to God. It's then that you find words
to express the feelings that are rolling over your soul like
the pounding waves of the ocean. It's then that you are
ready to learn from Job.
We have observed that Job's friends did not
console him at all. If anything, they increased his burden.
They were actually a third phase of Job's temptation. This
left Job to deal with God about his affliction. And in his
words we hear the anguished cries of all who have been
afflicted; in his pleadings, their cries for mercy; in his
questions, their plea for answers from God for the reasons
they are suffering. What Job said may be examined in four
TEXT SUBJECT Group 1 - Chapter 3 Job's Intial Lament Group 2
4--26 Job's Responses to His Critics Group 3 27--31: A
Series of Monologues Group 4 38--42: Job's Dialogue with God
Group 1: Job's Initial Lament.
For 7 days the men of the East sat before Job. Custom
demanded that the sufferer speak first, so Job finally broke
the silence (ch.3). His first speech expressed two themes:
It would be better if I had never been born
(vv. 1-19). My life is in turmoil (vv.25,26). How
many times have we too thought that God made a mistake in
bringing us into the world? And haven't we also felt that
the world (and we ourselves) would be better off if we were
just allowed to die? Life was once so good, but now there is
no peace. This is Job's lament.
Group 2: Job's Responses to His Critics.
The second grouping of what Job said contains eight
speeches. Each time one of Job's friends spoke, he
responded. Job's answers to his miserable "comforters" show
that he carried mixed feelings about God and his experience.
His laments, his wish to die, and his self-defense indicate
that he was somewhat self-righteous and rebellious. Yet he
also praised God and expressed deep faith in God's goodness.
He continued his lament. Job repeated his cry (6:4; 7:1-21;
9:17-31; 10:1-22; 12:13-25; 13:20-14:22). His feelings are
summed up in 6:4 where he says, "The arrows of the Almighty
are within me."
He defended himself. In response to his
critics' insistence that he must have been committing
terrible sins, Job consistently maintained his innocence. He
did not claim to be sinless. But he firmly believed that his
suffering was far worse than any wrongdoing he may have done
(9:25-35; 13:1-28; 16:15-21; 27:2-6). He expressed his
wishes. Job's answers to his critics contained these wishes:
(1) A repeated sorrowful wish to die (6:8-10; 7:15). (2) A
wish that God would leave him alone (7:16, 9:34,35; 10:20;
13:21,22; 14:6,13-15). (3) His wish to be heard (l6:18-22;
19:23,24). (4) His wish to confront God (23:3-12). He
offered praise to God. In spite of his suffering, Job
exalted God for His majesty (9:4,10,11; 12:10,13), His
lordship of history (5:11-16; 12:14-25), His power as
Creator (9:5-13; 10:8-12), and His work of creation
(26:5-14). He expressed his trust in God. In one of the most
triumphant passages of the Old Testament, Job cried, "I know
that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the
Job's comforters had driven him toward doubt, yet he
resisted the onslaught and burst forth with this wonderful
expression of triumph. Many feel that this was a turning
point in Job's dialogue with his critics.
Group 3: A Series of Monologues.
Job concluded his dialogue with a final protest of his
innocence. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it
go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live
(27:6).In chapter 29, Job remembered his happy estate before
the attack came. In chapter 30, he expressed the depth of
his hurt. Finally, Job challenged God by saying: Oh, that I
had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty
would answer me, that my Prosecutor had written a book!
(31:35). Having expressed his feelings, Job fell silent.
God's majesty as Creator of the universe and Source of life
is reflected throughout Job's speeches (9:15; 26:5-14) In
good circumstances and bad, God the Living Redeemer will be
there when earth passes away (19:25). God is our source of
wisdom and strength in every changing situation (12:13-17).
When our feelings are in turmoil because of deep trouble, we
must cling to what we know about the goodness of God. We can
express our hurt and anger to God when we are afflicted. In
trouble, it helps to look beyond the moment to the day when
our Living Redeemer returns. It helps to praise God in times
Group 4: Job's dialogue with God
Our look at God through Job began with Satan's hostile,
distorted point of view. It continues through Job's sad
experience. It was expressed in the one-dimensional
perspective of Job's friends and in the agonized speeches of
Job himself. But now, at the close of the ordeal, God
Himself speaks. In His two speeches, and in the responses of
Job, we find the resource for bearing our own affliction.
God's First Speech (38:2--40:2). Job had challenged God to
show him his wrong (31:35). Finally, out of the raging
storm, God spoke. The Lord's first speech began and ended
with a reply to Job's challenge (38:2,3; 40:2). In essence,
God said, "I am about to speak, Job. And when I am finished,
will you have anything left to say?" After referring to
Job's "words without knowledge," God asked a series of
penetrating questions. They forced Job to observe the
witnesses to God's power and goodness that surrounded him.
Job was called to consider evidence he was familiar with;
evidence from earth--not heaven. The Lord paraded the
witnesses before Job in a poem with two stanzas.
Stanza 1: Witnesses from the created world.
the earth (38:4-7,18) the sea (vv.8-11,16) the sun
(vv.12-15) the lower world (v.17) the light and darkness
(vv.19,20) the weather (vv.22-30,34-38) the constellations
Stanza 2: Testimony of the animal world. the lion (38:39,40)
the raven (v.41) the mountain goat and the deer (39:1-4) the
wild donkey (vv.5-8) the wild ox (vv.9-12) the ostrich and
the stork (vv.13-18) the war horse (vv.19-25) the hawk
(v.26) the eagle (v.27)
Job's First Response (40:3-5). Job was humbled and silenced
before the Lord. Here are his words: Behold, I am vile; what
shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth (40:4).
Faced with the grandeur of God as evidenced
in the natural world, Job had nothing more to say. God's
Second Speech (40:7--41:34). God spoke a second time to Job,
again telling him to brace himself for some hard questions
(40:7; see 38:3). God reminded Job of His ability to judge
rightly (40:8-14). Job's only course of action was to place
himself in the circle of God's care and to let His justice
prevail. He need not try to justify himself any longer. This
was followed by a dramatic description of two mighty beasts:
behemoth (40:15-24) and leviathan (41:1-34). These may be
references to the hippopotamus and the crocodile. Each
description contains a challenge to man to capture these
powerful creatures that reflected God's might (40:15-24;
41:1-10). Job's Second Response (42:2-6). Job responded in
two ways. First, he expressed an even deeper understanding
of God's greatness. I know that You can do everything, and
that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You (42:2).
Then, referring to what God had said earlier
(38:2,3; 40:7), Job confessed that he had been wrong and
repented of his earlier statements. Therefore I abhor
myself, and repent in dust and ashes (42:6). Job
acknowledged that he was wrong to challenge God and that he
would never do it again. He finally agreed that a God
powerful enough to create all things is wise enough to be
trusted and loving enough to do what's right. The created
world witnesses to the greatness of God (38:4-38). The
animal world testifies to the majesty of God (38:39--39:30).
God is the righteous Judge (40:4-8). God is the Maker of
great creatures; He is the Sovereign Lord (40:15--41:34).
God's ways are to be accepted as right because He is far
above man (42:2-7).
When affliction strikes, we cannot let ourselves lose sight
of the awesome power of God. When trouble comes, we need to
remember that God is just in all He does. When we cannot
understand, we can take refuge in the truth that God's ways
are above our ways. Repentance and humility are better than
questioning God or demanding a trouble-free life. Job lived
4,000 years ago in a culture vastly different from ours.
Besides, God talked directly to Job. He's not likely to do
that with us. So how does the record of his experience help
when you hear that your lovely, vivacious daughter has MS?
you learn that you have to go in for dialysis twice a week?
the doctor tells you that you have a brain tumor? you wake
up in the hospital to find that 60% of your body has second-
and third-degree burns? you've attended the funerals of all
The book of Job does help. It helps because
it not only focuses on one man's suffering, but it also
takes us beyond that and into the mind and character of God.
It tells us things about the sovereign Lord that help us
cope with trouble and heartache. The following principles
stand out in the book of Job. Suffering is part of life. No
one has a right to expect a life free from affliction. Even
a man as righteous as Job did not escape. True, we can be
healed these days in ways that would have seemed miraculous
a few short decades ago. But there is still heart disease
and cancer. People still have traffic accidents, planes
still crash, and children still drown. From the day Adam and
Eve left their garden paradise, suffering has been part of
To expect to live free from it is to ask
more than God has said He will grant. We may never know why.
The supernatural reason for our suffering may never be
revealed to us. Remember, Job never knew about the
confrontation between Satan and God in heaven. We may never
know either. We bring suffering on ourselves. Job's friends
were right in recognizing the principle of sowing and
reaping (Job 4:8; Gal. 6:7). When we neglect or abuse our
bodies, we will suffer the consequences. An alcoholic may
get cirrhosis of the liver. A reckless driver may end up in
the hospital or the morgue. We have no right to hold it
against God if we suffer as a consequence of our own foolish
choices. But remember that sometimes our suffering won't be
the result of sin. In this case, Job was right.
The resolution to suffering is to be found
in God's character. When affliction disrupts our lives and
destroys our serenity, we can have refuge in the goodness of
God. He is the sovereign Lord. His ways are above our ways.
He is the all-wise, infinite, holy, and good God. We are the
creatures; He is the Creator. Therefore, like Job, let us
rest in Him and trust in His incomprehensible perfection and
goodness. God has joined us in suffering. Job could see only
dimly what we can see clearly--that God became man to suffer
on our behalf. Jesus knew the reality of excruciating pain.
He knew bone-wracking tiredness. He endured mental anguish
and emotional distress. He was tempted in every way we are.
And He never stops interceding for us. Our faith need not
fail. We may lose loved one after loved one. We may know the
reality of prolonged, intense pain. Our bodies may fail and
our emotions may crack. But we can always maintain our faith
in God. Even though Job struggled to understand why God
would allow him to suffer, he kept taking refuge in the
knowledge of God's goodness.
You can't hide from suffering. It forces its
way through the petty issues and empty self-deceptions of
life. It washes away the naive idea that you will never know
the kind of trouble other people are facing. It forces you
to face the realities of pain and remorse and sorrow. At the
very heart of the matter, coping with affliction becomes a
personal matter between you and God. When your life is built
on a solid trust in Him, you can respond to suffering as Job
did. It is only a deep faith in God that enables a person to
say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15).
Perhaps you've been making your way through life without
God. You're trying to do it all on your own. If so, you need
to trust in Christ and make God a part of your life. Job
said, "I know that my Redeemer lives." That Redeemer is
Jesus Christ, who came to rescue you from your sin. Paul
wrote, "In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His
blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Eph. 1:7). Trust in Him
today. Acknowledging that you are a sinner, and admitting
that you cannot save yourself, receive Him as your personal
Savior (John 3:16). When you do, Job's God will be your God.
And you will know the One in whom you can place your
complete trust in every circumstances of life--whether it be
in times of great joy or in the kind of affliction Job had
Til The Next Time...
For The Glory Of God; Mary Bishop Leslie "Mary" Trombly c/o
Jesus Of Nazareth Diocese P. O.
Box 1283 Bellevue, Nebraska 68005-1283 Phone# (402) 291-0956
I believe that bad things happen to good
people because all things happen for a reason and purpose.
God is in control of all things and he has a higher and more
meaningful purpose for our lives.
All things that happen are not clear to us at the moment but
the Lord has a purpose for good always and the results of
that are sometimes either unclear to us or further down the
road. Just like with Job, the Lord ended up restoring him to
double to what he had before.
After the loss of my father, I saw years go by. In those
years, I could have used my grief to offer others hope. But
I didn't. Fortunately, I have since.
Some things happen, such as death, because our lives on
earth are temporary ones. Our perpetual lives are to be
enjoyed with God, for He is all encompassing: The Alpha, the
Omega, the beginning and the end. As a circle, which
continues evolving, so does our Lord.
We are born with free wills. God has little if anything to
do with how we use our free will. But, it is supposed to be
used to prepared ourselves for our lives, hereafter.
He knows from the moment of conception how much time we will
have on earth. Although lives are lost often ending in
tragedy, it is the action of the person causing it that is
responsible. God does not control even the evil. But satan
does. God stands by us through every trial and tribulation.
He stands and waits. He does not will nor does He cause
destruction in any form.
The violence we see today, is a culmination of lost souls,
who either have not been taught about God and His Laws
(Commandments), or are drawn by poor circumstances leading
up to their evil acts. As we see babies who die, it creates
the clarity of His Plan. He is not punishing us. The price
we had to pay, is as a consequence of our being descendants
of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Innocence is often affected by evil acts for which man is
responsible. Illnesses which can be devastating to our
minds, can be a wakeup call, saving our lives. They can also
bring about a transition in our lives adding compassion,
understanding, and the sufferings of others. Though all
"losses"' are of a different nature, painful and chaotic
causing our lives to often be turned "upside down", some
illnesses can have a derivation of which God has no fault.
Some, however, come and He helps us find our way, one day at
He does not cause war, famine, pestilence, nor plagues. They
are results of societal activities.
We assume that our civilization is the most advanced, and
some of the things that are scientifically going on are
against nature and God's Laws. However, anyone familiar with
Atlantis, the Aztec, Inca, Mayan civilizations will find
that they were in fact as advanced. Lobotomies and the
decimal system are but two sciences that were created by the
Aztecs, until the Spanish Inquisition destroyed everything
the Aztecs could have contributed to a world through
Artifacts are found by geologists indicating a higher social
order. What happened to these civilizations as learned as
ours if not more? Greed. What God gave them, life, gifts,
and direction were used to destroy one another.
The world is surrounded, enveloped really by
sin. Because of the first sin in the garden of Edna, man has
been a victim of the result of evil forces. No matter the
goodness that lies within the heart of a redeemed man, evil
surrounds him. Even he who is redeemed is not with out sin.
Sin is evil; God is not.
When sin surrounds anyone, no matter the condition of his
heart and soul; it has an effect on that person. Outside
conditions affect our lives, if not our souls. A tornado,
flood, plane crash, loss of a job, terrorist attacks, are
all floating around this world affecting good people as well
as bad. Like germs floating around, so too are sins or just
bad conditions. No matter how healthy we are, germs are
sometimes going to invade our bodies and have an affect on
our health, so too are outside events going to affect our
One cannot go through life without being affected by the bad
events surrounding us. It is how we deal with the bad things
that set us apart. “Woe, poor me,” is the victim. “How can I
deal with this effectively?” Is the spirit of a survivor.
The bible is very clear in that none are
good in God's eyes. We all deserve hell and judgment because
we are guilty before a thrice Holy God. The question should
be why is God so good to terrible sinners like we are. He is
gracious and merciful everyday.
God permits evil to happen to his children. I lost my wife
in a car accident from a drunk driver 18 years ago this past
week. My Son is permanently brain damaged. I have a rod in
my left leg. God has used this accident for me to talk to
other people and help them in their time of trial. God wants
us to be servants for his glory. He will bring glory to his
name. Bless His Holy Name. He is bringing me into the image
of His Dear Son.
God bless you all
I believe bad things help Christians to grow
stronger in the Lord. It allows us as Christians to grow in
Faith and to help us to trust the Lord. I also believe that
through every bad thing is something good. Stephen was
stoned to death because of his belief in Christ and counted
it as being a privilege to die for Christ and through this
other I'm sure came to know the Lord. Sometimes as
Christians we make stupid choices and we have to pay for
those. Not all consequences are good, we think! But the
outcome is for the best of us not we want, but what Christ
wants. He always has the best interest of each of us! God
I have often asked myself that question and
I always come with this. There must be a reason or a lesson
that we must learn. I don't think God plans for bad to
happen to us. He is not sitting in heaven waiting for
something terrible to take place. And I believe that there
are some things he can't prevent. But someone could say God
can prevent all things. I believe that too. I say that if
good people do good and they listen to God, then good things
should happen for them but that not always the case. Bad
things do occur and we need to lean on God when they do. I
ask myself why when bad people do bad they get everything
they want and I ask God why do you rewards them and not
people like me who try to do well for other. I haven't
receive an answer yet but I feel that we who are good will
be rewarded if not here on earth but in heaven.
As much as god loves us , Satan hates us and
his work is never done, he has already overtaken the bad
people and has used them ,now he wants the good people and
he will work on their hearts and souls so they lose faith in
god because of his deeds ,,he wants the souls of good people
, that's why bad things happen to good people and will
continue on ,until Satan has what he wants.
One cannot look at human suffering,
regardless of its causes or origins, and not feel pain and
compassion. It is easy to understand why one who lacks an
eternal perspective might look at horrifying news footage of
starving children in Africa or the devastation of a
hurricane and shake a fist at the heavens.
"If there is a God," the empathetic observer might wonder,
"how could He allow such things to happen?"
The answer isn't easy, but it isn't that complicated,
either. God has put His plan into motion. It proceeds
through natural laws—which are, in fact, God's laws. And
because they are His, He is bound by them, as are we. In
this imperfect world, bad things sometimes happen. The
earth's rocky underpinnings occasionally slip and slide, and
earthquakes result. Certain weather patterns turn into
hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and drought. That is the
nature of our existence on this planet. Dealing with
adversity is one of the chief ways in which we are tested
Sometimes, however, adversity is man-made. That is where the
principle of agency again comes into play. Keep in mind that
we were so excited about the plan Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ presented that we literally "shouted for joy." (Job
38:7.) We loved the concept of mortality and the exciting
notion of moral agency. But because we'd never been mortal
before, I'm not sure we could fully comprehend the impact of
agency on our lives.
We tend to think of agency in a personal way. Ask someone to
define "moral agency" and they'll probably come up with
something like this: "Moral agency means I'm free to make
choices for myself." But we forget that agency also offers
that same privilege to others, which means that sometimes we
are going to be adversely affected by the way other people
choose to exercise their agency.
Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our moral
agency that He will allow all of His children to exercise
it—for good and for evil. Of course, He has an eternal
perspective that helps Him to understand that whatever pain
and suffering we endure in this life, regardless of its
origins and causes, it is only a moment compared with our
entire eternal existence.
I hope this helps.