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A daily devotional based on the New Living Translation
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Life Application® Study Bible

Week 9

September 16th, 2017
The Question of Suffering
Job 42:7-17
Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life. (Job 42:16-17)
Why do believers experience troubles and suffering? Through a long debate, Job’s supposedly wise friends were unable to answer this question. They made a serious error in assuming that trouble comes only because people sin. People make the same mistake today when they think sickness or poverty is a sign of unconfessed sin or a lack of faith. Normally, obeying God does lead to a happier life while rebelling against God yields an unhappy life. But this is not always true. In our world invaded by sin, suffering comes to the good and the bad alike.

This doesn’t mean that God is uncaring, unjust, or powerless to protect us. Bad things happen because we live in a broken world, where all people suffer from the tragic consequences of sin. Though God allows evil for a time, he has the power to turn it around for our good (Romans 8:28). And God uses suffering in our lives to teach us faith and dependence on him. His ultimate goal is not that we live an easy life but that we grow closer to him and become more like him. In the end, we may not be able to understand why God allows evil, but we can be sure that he is all-powerful and knows what he is doing.
If you’re facing suffering right now, cling to God and ask him for the strength to endure it. If you’re trying to make sense of suffering you’ve seen recently, whether it’s yours or others’, spend time talking about it with God and listening with an open mind for whatever insight he gives you.
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Progress on our two-year chronological journey…