Objective: To teach Christians how to trust God despite all the pain and suffering.
- Introduction – 5min
- The story of Job – 15min
- Background and initial state – 5min
- Job’s testing and reaction.
- Job’s wife
- Job’s discussion with his friends
- Source of Wisdom
- Reason for Job’s Suffering and advise
- Job’s Reply
- God’s reply to Job’s question
- As believers, how can we respond to pain and suffering? – 5min
- Key Learning and Challenge – 5min
- Trust God in all things
- Roman 8:28
If we have an all-powerful and loving God, then why there is so much pain and suffering in our world now? Many are also more concerned on the question why does the righteous suffer? This is an honest question from many people seeking for an honest answer.
Let’s look what can we learn from the bible from the story of Job.
Many scholars believed that the book of Job is one of the oldest book of the bible ever written at around 2000-1800 BC at about the same time that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived. The author is not stated but some believed that it could be Job himself, or can be Moses, Solomon, or Elihu.
THE STORY OF JOB
The story happened in the land of Uz – probably located in the present day Palestine.
Job 1:1 (NIV)
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil
|7 sons, 3 daughters||7000||300||500||Job 1:2-3 Greatest man among all the people of the EAST in his time.|
God is happy because is faithful. But Satan wanted question Job’s faithfulness to God, Satan reasoned that Job is only faithful because God blessed Job so much. So God allowed Satan to take from Job all but he should not hurt Job.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
In Job 1:13-20, we can read that in an instant all job’s property vanished and all his children died from a violent windstorm. In all these pain and suffering, Job remained faithful to God.
Job 1:20-22 (NIV)
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[a]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
God was extremely proud of Job’s faithfulness.
Job 2:3 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
Satan reasoned that Job was only faithful to God because he himself wasn’t hurt. So God gave Satan permission to hurt Job but he should not kill Job.
Job 2:4-10 (NIV)
“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[a] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Satan gave Job painful sores from the soles of his feet up to his head. Then Job’s wife told him to “Curse God & die!” But Job remained faithful to God. Job was in great pain
- He lost all his property.
- He lost all his children.
- He was very sick.
- His wife gave up on him
Job was visited by his 3 friends to comfort him and provide help. For 7 days & 7 nights they just sat with Job without saying anything for they that Job suffering greatly.
Job 2:11-13 (NIV)
When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
In Job 3:1-31:40 we can three rounds of discussion between Job and his friends. They are trying to provide an answer why this happened great tragedy happened to Job and what should he do to reverse all these sufferings.
His friends accused Job of a hidden that’s why all these tragedy happened to him. Job’s friends just wanted to help but they did hasty generalization. Job denied the allegations until finally God spoke up. Job humbled himself in front of the almighty and ask for forgiveness for asking for an explanation and questioning God’s sovereignty over all things. God demanded the three friends to offer sacrifices for their sin of accusing Job.
Job 42:7-8 (NIV)
After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”
Also God restored Job’s health, wealth and provided 10 new children. Job lived a full life and died in old age.
From Job’s discussion with his friends we learned that suffering and pain can have many sources.
If knowing the cause of suffering will help us to avoid the experience the pain then it is worth knowing. However, the most important of all is knowing how to respond. In all pains and suffering, we know that God is always in control. If you are hurting now, don’t lose faith knowing that our God feels your pain and whatever happens, He is doing what’s best for us.
The Lord Jesus also encountered a very painful suffering and he asked God to remove the cup if it is possible. The Lord asked 3x but knew that not his will but the Father should prevail. John 1:12 said that for those who received Jesus Christ, even to those who believed in the name of Jesus Christ, he will give them the right to become children of God. In this heroic act of sacrifice by the Lord, you and me, now has a change to have eternal life by grace though faith.
Matthew 26:38-39,42,44 NIV
Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”  So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Always trust in God no matter what because only God loves us unconditionally, only God truly cares for our future and well-being. And if we love God, all things will work together for good!
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.