544 – The Story Behind Job’s Suffering
I said we know why. That’s not quite true. Actually, we know how it came about. The actual reason why God allowed Satan to test Job so severely still remains hidden behind the veil of God’s inscrutable will. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God,” says Deuteronomy 29:29, “but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever.”
There is no formula for pain. And there is no formula to explain pain. There are only different types of suffering we can identify. For example, consider these men in Scripture, some of whom we’ve already met:
- Joseph was unjustly sold as a slave and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit.
- David, a man after God’s own heart, sinned deeply and was punished severely.
- Jeremiah was arrested and put in stocks for speaking God’s word.
- A man was born blind “so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3).
Let’s be careful not to give formulaic answers for people’s pain. I’m tempted all the time to attach reasons to people’s sufferings. But except for when it’s clear that we’re suffering for doing right or wrong, we just don’t know.
What we do know is this: suffering is a part of God’s plan of redemption.