You’ve probably heard the saying “the patience of Job.” At the beginning of the book named after him in the Bible, Job is described as a man fully committed to God. However, after he loses his ten children, all his wealth, and his health, he isn’t very patient.
Job’s problem with his great suffering is that he and his three friends have the wrong idea about suffering. Their misconcept is that a great sin produces great suffering. Job knows that he has been faithful to God; thus, he questions God concerning his suffering. At the same time, his so-called “friends” cut him down for his “huge sin” that he had to have committed in their eyes. They were wrong.
Even Job’s wife condemns him and calls on him to “curse God and die.” Thus, in chapters 3, 7, and 10, Job questions God about his extreme suffering.
I think that only one Person in all of history has suffered more than Job. That man is Jesus Christ, who carried the extremely heavy weight of all humanity’s rebellion for his whole life and to his death, when he was nailed to a wooden cross-beam, which was the Roman torture instrument for the worst criminals. But Jesus was completely innocent.
On the other hand, even though Jesus’ death was suffocating suffering, he was not a victim of human injustice but a willing Victor over the forces of evil when he came back to permanent life parts of three days later.
How do we know that Jesus came back to permanent life after dying? He appeared to his closest followers several times and to 500 more on another occasion. All of them were willing to suffer and die for their testimonies that they saw Jesus die and show himself alive from the dead. You can’t get better eyewitnesses of any historical event than such people. Therefore, Jesus did come back to life and lives for his people today.
Though Jesus was patient in his suffering, Job wasn’t at times. However, Job did persevere through his suffering; the theme of the book, then, is that God’s gift of faith keeps going regardless of circumstances.
God eventually confronted Job about his questioning, but God condemned Job’s “friends” for their condemnation of Job. Then, he blessed Job with much greater blessings than he had previously.
Therefore, we can be assured that the suffering of Jesus gave Job, and will give us who believe in him, greater faith through our suffering and struggles in this life and great joy in the next.
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