In my previous post I started a series meditating in the sufferings of Job and the lessons we can learn from his experience. We talked about how good people suffer, it doesn’t happen necessarily because they did something wrong.

Suffering

Photo credit: ©iStockphoto/Kuzma

Now, let’s look at another point to Job’s experience:  he showed us how God expects us to handle suffering and difficult situations. Job is an example for us.

Check what James, one of the writers of the New Testament, wrote about him:

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)

James praised Job’s perseverance, that is, the fact that even through all the suffering, he didn’t change his mind about God, he kept trusting Him. Even though he didn’t understand what was happening and he questioned his circumstances a lot, he never cursed or doubted God.

Let’s check some quotes from Job in the Bible that earned him this mention from James:

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:21-22)

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (Job 2:9-10)

Even though he didn’t understand why, Job still trusted that God was in control and the suffering and trouble had a reason. He didn’t know what the reason was, and he wanted to know it very badly so he could understand why all those things happened to him. Even not knowing, he still trusted Him.

At the end of Job’s story, God restored everything he owned in double, due to Job’s perseverance. He gave him possessions, a new family, restored his health, and He gave him friends to comfort him:

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought upon him […] After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. (Job 42:10-11,16)

After all he went through, this is how Job expressed his experience:

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. (Job 42:5)

Through his suffering, he learned more about God. Not that He was an insensitive being that had pleasure in his suffering, or that He didn’t care. Job learned that his limited knowledge could never understand God’s motives. That’s why he should trust Him.

Today we know the importance of Job’s story, and we know that it had brought comfort to many people who suffered throughout the ages. Job is still teaching us the same lesson he learned himself: to trust God no matter what.