Have you ever asked God why something is happening? We tend to question God’s goodness and his justice when we see the evil in the world around us. There are even times in our lives when we look at our circumstances and ask, “Why is this happening to me?” I wish there was a simple answer to this question, but there’s not. Now, let’s clear up one thing. Sometimes bad things are happening to us, and it is because we have made bad decisions. That does not seem to be the case when we look at Job.
Most of the time, when we face suffering, people turn to the book of Job. You probably know the story well. Job loses everything dear to him: 7 sons, 3 daughters, and much of his property. His own wife turns against him in 2:9. Job’s friends wanted to know why this was happening. Surely, he had done something wrong to have all this happen.
As we read the words of his friends, we see there was a prominent idea that good things happened to good people and bad things happened to bad people. It was taking the concept of “you reap what you sow” to a whole different level. This left them in a perplexing situation. They knew Job was a righteous and devout man, but since all this was happening to him, there must be something he had done wrong. We even see his friends suggest that he confess sins he didn’t commit just to appease God, but Job never did this.
What do we see in this story? What do we learn about suffering? First, sometimes we never know the reason why the suffering takes place. Job was never told about God’s conversation with the Adversary. He was never given an explanation by God. However, we do learn that God is good and just. Therefore, whatever is happening, we can trust God. Second, we learn that God sees what we cannot. It takes a big picture of faith to understand that our current trials are only temporary. We have this big picture faith because we know that we serve a “big picture” God. He sees what we cannot, and he knows what we cannot. He sees the beginning, the end, and everything in between.
I do not know what you are struggling with or if you are watching something unfold in the lives of those you love. I cannot give you a specific reason why these things are happening, but I know that when we lean into God, he will build our faith.