Focal Passages: Job 40:1-9;
Romans 8:18-21, 28-30
“God is love” (1 John 4:8b,
We know in our heads that
God is love because the Bible tells us so. We know in our hearts that God is
love because we feel His love surrounding us on a daily basis.
That all sounds great when
things are going the way you had planned.
But what happens when the
bottom falls out from under you? You lose your job. You are diagnosed with
cancer. A loved one dies.
The picture now gets a
little cloudy, doesn’t it?
You know God loves you, but you just don’t understand
why He would allow these things to be happening to you.
It reminds me of a book I
bought after my husband, Terry, died in 1992 — If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt
Don’t get me wrong. I knew
in my head that God loved me. I even felt His love sustaining me as I tried to
raise my two young sons as a widowed mom at the age of 37.
In my mind, however, it
seemed like God must have blinked — or looked the other way for just a second —
and I simply fell from the palm of His hand for a few moments.
Now you and I know I didn’t
fall from God’s hand. And I didn’t fall out of His plan for my life.
faithful and His love for you and me never changes.
This week’s lesson helps us
understand some very important truths about suffering and God’s unchanging love.
First of all, we are not
God. “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?” (Job 40:2,
NIV). We have finite knowledge while God’s knowledge is infinite. God sees the
entire picture of our lives while we only see the snapshot of the moment in
which we are living.
Second, nothing that happens
in the life of a Christian is ever wasted when placed into the hands of our
loving Heavenly Father. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth
comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18, NIV). Many
times God uses the difficulties and trials we have endured to minister to others
in their time of need.
And lastly, as believers, we
can trust God completely — regardless of our circumstances — because of His
great love for us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28,