Christian Life

What Job teaches us about suffering – part 2

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

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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.

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What Job teaches us about suffering – part 1

We’ve talked about suffering in the last posts, and whenever someone talks about suffering in the Bible, one has to mention Job.

Scriptures scroll

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You probably know Job’s story: God allowed the devil to destroy everything he owned and everyone he loved, even attack his body. He just didn’t allow him to die. In a short while, Job lost all his possessions, his family and his health.

But what was the point of such suffering? In fact, we can learn important lessons from the story of Job, and we will explore that in this post and in the next few posts that I am writing in this series.

First of all, I’d like to talk about one thing that many people still struggle with, which is when good people suffer.

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Apostle Paul’s lessons about handling suffering

When we read the New Testament, we see that suffering was a common topic. In those writings, people were encouraged to deal with suffering in a positive way.

Bible

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If you read the first letter written by the apostle Peter, you will see that he talks about it a lot. I’ve talked about it before in this post. Paul has also written about handling suffering in several of his letters.

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How to use our own experiences as encouragement for tough times

Suffering is a tough topic to write about. And I’ve been “stumbling” on the subject every now and then lately, so I’d like to write a few more words about it.

Journal

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I’ve got to tell you, I am not the most experienced person when it comes to suffering, not at all. I’ve been through difficult situations, but now looking back, they don’t seem that big of a deal. Maybe that’s me, it is much easier for me to remember the good stuff than the bad.

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The reality of suffering

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Suffering

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When Peter wrote this letter, he intended to encourage the brothers and sisters in Christ. He wrote several recommendations, specially for those who were suffering.

Back then, the Christians were persecuted. In fact, there are still Christians all over the world today who are suffering and being persecuted because of their faith. If you want an example, check out this post I wrote about Helen Berhane.

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Do not worry

There are many things in life that gets us worried. And a common reason for worry is our finances. If money is getting short, we start making calculations, trying to figure out what to do. We worry.

Worried man

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Do you know what God says about it? Check it out in Jesus’s own words:

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Learning to wait

Waiting is one of the toughest things to do, and waiting for God’s timing is not naturally easy for us either. We have to learn.

Wait

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What we usually don’t understand about God’s timing is that while we wait for something, we are going through a process. We are not waiting in vain. There is a reason for the wait, and God knows it.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

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The importance of our leaders

In Brazil and in the United States we have upcoming elections. That’s a moment that we should take to think about the importance of our leaders, no matter where they are: in a government office, at work, in the church.

leader

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Talking about leaders, one thing caught my attention while I was reading through the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles in my yearly Bible reading: every time that Israel or Judah had a godly man as a king, one that followed God and lived according to His will, all people also behaved according to God’s will.

But when they had a bad king, one that worship other gods and rebelled against God, so did the people.

Some of the narrations in the Bible are brief, and they don’t explore the matter very deeply, but one thing is undeniable: the people followed their leader, no matter if he was a good or a bad one.

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