Below is a message that I preached to our church at the beginning of the year, and now it seems appropriate to share at the end as well. It’s on the first two chapters of the book of Job. The key question of the book is NOT “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The key question is “How will good people respond when bad things happened to them?” Will God be enough for them?
All people suffer. But not all of us suffer in the same way. Not everyone sees God’s hand in their suffering. Even among those who do, not all can accept it. For some people, suffering becomes the testing that refines them and shapes them into the image of Jesus. For others, suffering gives way to bitterness, resentment, and even hatred toward God. It becomes once and for all the moment that they turn away from the Lord forever. They shake their fist at God and go their own way.
The question that I want to press upon you is this. How do you respond to grief and suffering when it comes into your life? I’m talking about any kind of suffering. Perhaps it’s the loss of a job or the loss of a friend. Perhaps you have buried a loved one, or even a spouse. Maybe you have a chronic disease that causes you pain. Perhaps you’ve just gotten a very bad report from your doctor. Maybe it’s something less than that. Maybe it’s more than that. How have you responded? Do you feel yourself being pulled toward God by the trial or pulled away from Him? How you answer that question reveals what is the most important thing about you. Faithfulness to Jesus is proven not so much by how you handle
prosperity and health but by how you endure suffering.
[You can listen to the rest here or press play below.]