Summary: As we read the story of Job our hearts break. We see ourselves in Job, his friends, the agony of the hearts involved and much more. Job is no different, he was a man just like us. He is struggling. It doesn’t make any sense. He was “on top of the world” and now he has seemingly been brought below it for no known reason. He lost his family, his wife turned on him, he lost his possessions, he lost his health, and on top of it all his friends are against him.
In Job 29, Job starts down his final defense of himself. And in chapter 29 he is reminiscing on his former life and all that he had. He feels that God has abandoned him. This is not true but he feels it. In chapter 29 and 30 we see Job compare and contrast his former life with his current reality. It is weighing down his heart; the weight of it is becoming too much to handle for Job.
I wish I could go back and tell him that what he is going through shows us Jesus. I wish I could tell him that one day, the Savior of the world, would come to earth, leaving perfection, and suffer the loss of social dignity, family, friends, and suffer for our sins. I wish I could encourage him and tell him that what he is suffering is a pale reflection of the suffering of Jesus. I wish I could sit down with him and read Philippians 2:1-11 and show that when we suffer well it brings glory to God the Father. Long story short, I wish I could show him that the Messiah, Jesus, (1) understands and (2) cares and that (3) God will use your story to show people Jesus for the rest of time. That would be quite an encouragement.
Maybe you need the same encouragement. Maybe you are going through some suffering. Jesus (1) understands, (2) cares, and (3) will use it if you let Him. We can trust God. When we suffer well we are identifying with Jesus, sharing in His sufferings, and growing in our understanding of the gospel. You are not alone. Suffering affects us all.
Response: Read what Peter has to say about suffering in 1 Peter 4:12-19 and pray for strength to “entrust your soul to a faithful creator while doing good.”
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College