Today, after you pray for wisdom, read through the the text below on suffering before reading the next chapter.
C.S. Lewis explains, “The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast…The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God… Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”
Truths about Suffering (adapted from DesiringGod.org)
- It is a normal part of our life here/God knew that we would experience suffering (Acts 14:22).
- It is experienced for various reasons; many times we are caught in the cross-hairs of spiritual warfare, impacted by the fallenness and sin in ourselves as well as those around us, and we have an enemy that is seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).
- Reminds us we are not in heaven, we are not “home” (Revelation 21:1,4).
- Is multifaceted/presents differently to us all (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
- We are meant to suffer together (Galatians 6:2).
- Can equip us for ministry depending on our response (2 Corinthians 1:4).
- Is a battleground for my soul (Job 2:9-10).
- Prepares us for more glory (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Read Job 3
How does Job express his agony and pain?
Are there sentences or thoughts that shock you? Remember in chapter 1, Job was “blameless and upright” and in agony he cries out.
Describe a time of suffering that you have experienced. How did you respond? Who walked alongside you? Perhaps you are suffering right now- how are you feeling and doing?
Express these feelings to the God who is running towards you, who is crazy about you, and who loves and pursues you (write out a prayer in a journal or a peice of paper).