Why is life so hard? Why do we suffer? We are slaves in search of shade; we are laborers longing for our wages. God has made my days drag on and my nights miserable. I pray for night to end, but it stretches out while I toss and turn. My parched skin is covered with worms, dirt, and sores, and my days are running out quicker than the thread of a fast-moving needle.
Why do you test us from sunrise to sunset?
Job 7:1-6, 18
All day long, every day of our lives we are being tested from sunrise to sunset! The Old Testament character Job is known for his patience, but I think next to Jesus Himself Job tops the list for those who suffered as well! Job lost his possessions, his children and his health. He lived in excruciating pain and was accused of being guilty of some awful sin by those who knew him best.
Here is the sobering part of the story of Job. Job's suffering was not the result of his sin, or even the sin of someone else. Job suffered because God was pleased with Job and the way he lived!
It is hard to imagine the suffering of Job. My wife and I lost a 16 year old daughter in an automobile accident. Job lost all of his children in a windstorm that blew down the house of his oldest son! The pain of losing one child much less all of your 10 children in one day is beyond tragic!
So when life takes a terrible turn of suffering, don't automatically conclude that you are being punished for sin or that God is simply unhappy with the way you are living your life! With Job it was just the opposite. Because God was pleased with Job he allowed this "righteous" man to endure extreme pain and suffering.
Here is a most common mistake we make as followers of Jesus. We assume that living a life that is pleasing to God will always result in peace and prosperity here on this earth. We believe that we are not blessed unless we are surrounded by an abundance of things that bring comfort to our lives.
But the truth is this: If your life is pleasing to God you may be asked to suffer the most! So ask yourself if you are following Jesus because you want the blessings that often come to those who walk in His ways, or are you following Him because you love Him more than life itself!
"Lord Jesus, I choose to follow You and walk in Your ways no matter what that means for my life! If loving You brings joy and peace, I praise Your Name and if loving You brings pain and sorrow in this world, I also praise Your Name, now and forever! Amen."