2 – God’s Sufficiency in Suffering
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away may the name of the Lord be praised” Job 1:21
“After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: “May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!’ That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed? For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest with kings and counselors of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
with rulers who had gold, who filled their houses with silver. Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day? There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.
Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout. The small and the great are there, and the slave is freed from his master. Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil” Job 3
1. When suffering continues, God is still present.
2. When the gifts are gone, God is still good.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” Job 13:15
3. When circumstances are confusing, God is all-wise.
“God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:23-28
4. When our despair deepens, God is our hope.
- Have you ever asked God, “Why” when it comes to suffering in your life? Did He answer? Why would an explanation not ultimately help?
- Why is God’s presence ultimately what we need in suffering? What would it be like to suffer without it?
- How can treasuring God actually help you face suffering? How does it help your faith?
- What can we learn from God’s wisdom during suffering? How does it help us to know He knows all?
- How can you experience hope while suffering? How could your share that with others?