25 But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust. 26 Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh.
Why do God’s people suffer? Job feared God and lived with integrity. Then boom—calamity struck. In one day, Arabian nomads swooped away his oxen and donkeys, lightning struck his sheep and servants, Chaldeans raided his camels, and a powerful storm collapsed his house, killing all his children. Boils infected Job from his feet to his head. What was going on?
For much of the book, we eavesdrop on Job’s fault-finding friends. They delivered unwise counsel, and Job endured their bloated speeches.
Halfway through the discourse, Job paused from his nagging doubts and sagging belief and voiced magnificent faith, “But I know my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). He knew one day an Advocate would pronounce him innocent. Job longed for that day when he would meet this Redeemer face to face.
God showed up at the end of the book, gave Job the lecture of his life, restored his fortune, and blessed him with ten children.
Although Job’s life ended with restoration, not all our stories end that way. Though we all endure trials, not many have sustained losses on the magnitude of Job’s. Still, suffering gnaws at our faith. Like Job, we doubt. What have I done wrong? Why me? What is going on? When will the suffering cease?
Know that God hears every one of our questions.
Joni Eareckson Tada has asked these same questions. Paralyzed from the neck down since her teenage years, she is trapped in her own body and relies on others to feed, bathe and transport her. In an interview with Larry King, she remarked that she depended on God to smile.
Like Job and Tada, we may never know why we suffer. God may heal one and allow the other to bear the pain. But we can be sure our Redeemer is good and merciful. He is enough in the hard seasons and until we will meet Him face to face.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What are you suffering through right now? Share it with someone.
- What would your day look like if you asked God to help you smile?
- Do you know your living Redeemer? If not, whom could you talk to?