The Importance Of Suffering In The Book Of Job

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Depending on the perspective of the individual suffering can either prove beneficial or futile. Personally, I feel that suffering is beneficial as it can teach an individual about themselves, the world, and if so inclined, bring them closer to God. Suffering teaches a person to avoid painful stimuli and thus injury or death. Suffering teaches a person compassion and humility, and thus they develop more meaningful and productive relationships. Suffering teaches an individual that their time on earth is not meaningless, that there is an almighty God, and it is not his or her place to question God’s plan for them or the world. It is true, suffering can teach an individual many lessons, however it is up to the individual to reflect upon their …show more content…
Countless psalms, narratives and stories in the bible revolve around meeting God through an individual’s suffering and despair (Hall, Langer, McMartin, 2010 p. 114). Suffering is filled with meaning when associated with a divine calling and an understanding that all “events are ordained for God’s purposes” (Hall, et al. 2010 p. 114, 115). In the book of Job, we learn how God tested the faith of Job by allowing Satan to inflict all manner of suffering on his life. Throughout his trials Job’s wife and friends counselled him, advising his to curse God to which Job replied “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Job knew that God had a plan for him and trusted in his faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). It was when Job grew as an individual and become selfless that redemption came. “And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10). Job had faith that while he did not understand why God tested him, there was a reason for his suffering. When he became more like God, selfless and caring for others more than himself, God repaid him. In the book Basic writings of Nietzche (1989) Friedrich Nietzche observed that “to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” It is all too easy to ask God why he has allowed suffering, but it is only through self-reflection that the individual will find the meaning. Roy Williams hypothesizes that it is not necessarily that God has caused the suffering, but rather that he has withheld his protection to allow unfortunate circumstances to progress. This is in an act not of maliciousness on God’s part, but of wisdom, in an effort to allow the individual to grow and learn from their suffering (Williams,

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