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Sermons on Job
Suffering is personal. It creates emotions and pain that are often beyond belief. Suffering is perplexing. It doesn't make sense and, at times, seems so random. Suffering is a paradox. It leaves things in tension, and it asks more questions than it answers. Suffering, like nothing else in life, is a convergence of these loaded three words: personal, perplexing, and paradox.
If you want help in suffering then, aside from the Bible, you need to read old books or at least books about people who lived in the previous generation. They understood something significant about the sovereignty of God and suffering. Let me give you two examples of what a man and a woman said on the death of their spouses.
The "who?" question is far more satisfying than the "why?" question. In other words, there will always be mystery when it comes to suffering. We are not given all the answers as to why hard things happen. We are not given explanations, justifications, or reasons. Instead, we are told Who is behind them, that He intends everything - including pain - for our good, and that He is worthy of our trust. The question then that we must deal with is this: Is my view of God big enough and deep enough for what I do not see in this life? Or, is what I know about God big enough and deep enough for what I do not know now?
Life begins with a cry. And the hopeful message of the Bible is that there will come a day when "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore... "(Rev 21:4). But until then we are left in a world where difficulties, suffering, pain, and sorrow are a real and normal part of life.
The confusions of God. The title itself is probably confusing, and that's good, because if we're ever going to â€˜get' the book of Job, we're first going to have to enter into his confusion. And that was a confusion caused, deliberately, by God.
Often the greatest times of spiritual growth, come as the result of suffering and pain. God's greatest gifts to us, come in the form of "subtractions" instead of "additions". We grow on the valley floor ... suffering drives us deep. The authentic faith - is one that has been tested by fire, and proven powerful and rich. IN our day of "easy-believism" when we expect only good from the hand of God, perhaps the greatest challenge to our faith and to our spiritual maturity is when the storms of life begin to howl. Finding Jesus in the midst of the storm and being able to praise Him despite our pain is one of the critical steps on the journey toward Spiritual Maturity. We might not at first consider these trials as "gifts" but these "severe gifts" may be the catalyst for incredible spiritual growth if we will lean into God's purpose in them. Key Passages: Job 2:10 and Isaiah 48:10