After events like the assassination of President Kennedy, 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, people ask how could a loving God allow them to happen? When good people suffer sickness or injury, they question why.
A hard passage of Scripture is when God allowed Satan to destroy Job. In one day he lost everything, his children and wealth, except his health and his wife. Then God permitted Satan to inflict him with sores and boils. Job's friends accused him saying, "You must have done something wrong." Not so! Even during his suffering he did not sin. The end of Job's story is nothing less than a miracle. God restored him in every way and he lived a blessed life for another 140 years (Job 42:12).
Joseph was a fine young man, his father's favorite son, but his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Although he ended up in prison at the hand of Potipher's wife, Joseph did not lose his faith. He gained a reputation for being a model prisoner and able to interpret dreams. God used that ability to rescue him from the dungeon and he became the Governor of the land. During a great famine, he forgave his brothers saying, "You meant what you did for evil, but God meant it for good, the saving of all these people" (Genesis 50:19-21).
What does Jesus say when good people suffer? In the 9th chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus' disciples ask, "Rabbi, who sinned,this man or his parents, that he was born blind."
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life" (John 9:1-3).
That's what happened in Job's and Joseph's lives too. God used suffering to reveal His mighty deeds in their lives. Faith in God brings blessings as well as suffering. In Acts 9:16, God said to Ananias about Saul (Paul), "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Think About It
Have you wondered why good things don't always happen to good people? If they did, then the righteous would become proud and arrogant, exactly what God hates. Instead God wants us to trust Him through bad times and good times.
Pray About It
Thank you, Father, that you never leave us to suffer alone, but you are always with us. Thank you for your comfort and peace even when things don't go the way we want. Show us how to live for you and not under our circumstances. Amen.