Suffering and worship

This week we finish reading the book of Job.

The majority of the book contains the dialogue between Job and his three not-so-wise and not-so-comforting and not-so-biblical friends.  They foolishly attempt to answer why a godly man like Job suffers (their faulty answer — “he’s not as godly as he thinks”).

But in question after question in the final chapters, God redirects the thinking of these men to state that the real question to be addressed is “who is God and why should we worship Him?”  These repeated questions affirm one fundamental truth — neither Job nor his friends is God and because God is God He alone is always worthy of worship, no matter what the circumstances of life might be.

If one is “blessed,” worship God.  And if a man suffers, worship God.  In all places and at all times, God is worthy of our worship.  And, any circumstance that drives us to dependent and joyful worship of Him is good, regardless of how much temporal suffering it might appear to inflict on us.

“Blessed is any weight, however overwhelming, which God has been so good as to fasten with His own hand upon our shoulders,” wrote a commentator many years ago.  He was right.  Every weight, every trial, every suffering, is good for it is from God and designed to elicit our worship of Him above our worship of the removal of our weights and burdens.  This is the lesson that Job learned in the final chapters of his book.  And we do well to learn with Him.

“…if a man is to be free from discontent and worry it is not enough merely not to murmur but you must be active in sanctifying God’s name in the affliction.” [Jeremiah Burroughs]

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