The Book of Job: Why Do We Suffer?

Suffering is something everyone can relate to. It defies income, race, age, geography, and everything else. One book in the Bible explores suffering in a very vivid way: through conversations.

To Think About:

  • Read Job 1:1-3. What modern terms would you use to describe Job and all his possessions?
  • Read Job 1:6-12. Job eventually loses his livestock, his employees, and his kids. Who would you say was the cause of it: Job, Satan, or God? Why did you choose who you did?
  • Read how Job’s friends viewed his situation:
    • Eliphaz – 4:7
    • Bildad – 8:3-6
    • Zophar – 11:4-6

They believed that wrong living results in punishment from God. In what ways would you say they are right? How are they wrong?

  • Job repeatedly says he hasn’t done enough wrong to deserve the suffering he’s going through. He’s bold enough to say he’d like to take this up with God in a courtroom (13:2-3). When was a recent time that you felt like Job?
  • God could remain silent no longer. He entered the conversations in chapter 38. Look at some of the questions in that chapter and the following chapters. How many of the questions can you answer? What does that teach you about getting an answer to why we suffer?

To Live Out:

Faithfulness to God does not always dictate whether you will suffer. So, whether you are faithful should not be determined by whether you suffer. We cannot always understand God’s ways. Understanding the inner workings of creation is daunting enough for our minds. How much more so getting a full grasp of why bad things happen to good people? Without an answer, you can still live faithful to God.

To Pray About:

  • Honestly share with God the ways you are suffering right now.
  • Ask him the questions you have. Job did, and he was not punished for asking.
  • Thank God for his faithfulness to you even when you suffered in the past, and ask for that same presence as you suffer now.

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