Under the weight of immense suffering and distress, Job is so convinced that God is against him. Perhaps his greatest sorrow is believing that God seeks his destruction. ‘Yes I know You will lead me to death,’ he says to God, heartbreaking words said by a heartbroken man. But praise God that Job’s assumptions about God are wrong, that God has respite and blessing waiting for Job just around the corner.
It is difficult to sit in the words that Job declares in anguish, perhaps because we either prefer to flee from such pain or have known it too clearly. Why does God allow suffering? Why are His beloved children exposed to pain? In trying to understand what we don’t know, it helps to recall what we do know. We know God wants and knows what’s best for us. We also know that He doesn’t grant us constant ease and comfort in this life. Could it be, then, that there is more that God can offer us than constant comfort? While pain is difficult to endure, it does remind us that the world we live in is a fallen world. Pain – whether inflicted by what surrounds us or by our own choices – shows us our limits, our imperfections, our constant need for God.
Instead of always giving us relief from suffering, God shows that He is for us by giving us strength to endure it all. He walks us through it, developing within us perseverance and growing our faith. Moreover, in His greatest work through Jesus on the Cross, He has endured pain Himself to ensure that through Him our lives would lead to ultimate redemption and victory.
Do your cries to God right now match those of Job? Are you looking to Him for respite and relief? Know that God sees your pain and has not forsaken you. Be assured that in Jesus, pain will never be the end of your story with God. Job is wrong in his presumptions about God, but he is right in his earnest and consistent seeking of Him in all situations. With the story of Job and by the work of Jesus, we too can withstand difficulties which seem unbearable, knowing there is more waiting for us as we continue to seek our God.