Yet Will I Trust Him: Job and the Mystery of Suffering

The world doesn’t seem to be what it ought to be. It is broken as well as beautiful, and that hurts. Has your life ever been affected by crime, poverty, violence, joblessness, or homelessness? What about disease, disabilities, deformities, or discrimination? How about a weather event, such as an earthquake, tornado, flood, or hurricane? Has your family ever been jolted by a fire, a fatal accident, a destructive riot, or a school shooting?

The question is always the same. After the initial shock and horror subsides, after the news crews go home, after others have gotten on with their lives, we’re always left with the same question: Where was God in the midst of my suffering? And why did he let it happen in the first place?

Christian professor Peter Kreeft has said, “More people have abandoned their faith because of the problem of evil than for any other reason. It is certainly the greatest test of faith, the greatest temptation to unbelief.” It is for this reason Christian author Philip Yancey calls the problem of evil “theological kryptonite.”

Can the ancient Hebrew book of Job provide any insight into the universal problem of pain? It is often said that the theme of Job is the age-old question, “Why does a loving God permit the righteous to suffer?” But if that is the theme of the book, the question is never fully answered. Perhaps the theme of the book is better stated, “How do the righteous suffer?” The book of Job can show us how to endure until the world is finally what it ought to be—beautiful and not broken—when God in Christ makes all things new.

 Part 1: A Man Called Job (Job 1:1-12)

Part 2: Honest to God (Job 2:1-10 and Selected)

Part 3: How Not to Help (Job 2:11-13; 42:7-9)

Part 4: A Cosmic Answer to Earthly Pain (Job 38:1-42:6)

Part 5: What Good Is Suffering? (Job 7:20-21; 10:18-22)

Part 6: The End of Suffering (Job 42:1-17)