The book of Job helps us to understand the theology of suffering. Here are some insights:
1. The Book of Job teaches that God allows suffering for a reason. Even Job’s suffering had a definite reason behind it though Job himself never got to know it. God never gave him the answer either. But nevertheless God allowed his suffering with a reason and that is a lesson we can derive from Job. There is no meaningless suffering.
2. The Book of Job challenges the idea that the righteous will always prosper and the wicked will always perish. Job, though being a righteous man endured terrible suffering. Just because we are faithful to God does not mean we are shielded from pain and suffering in this world.
3. The Book of Job presents the important teaching that Satan may be behind our suffering but he does not have the freehand to do what he wants with our life. Satan is answerable to God and he can only do to the extent what God allows him to do. (Job 1:12, 2:6)
4. The book of Job affirms the sovereignty of God in the midst of our suffering. God is not obligated to provide us the answers. But knowing His character we know that God is always on the right side and He has all the answers which we cannot fathom. Therefore, we cannot use our human standards to measure God.
5. The Book of Job teaches that we must worship God at all times – not just in our good times alone. God is worthy of our worship at all times in our life irrespective of circumstances.
6. Lastly, the fact that God did appear to Job shows His love and compassion towards those who suffer. God finally, rewarded Job and justice prevailed. God will always prove Himself to be Just.
By Ashwin Ramani, Canada.