Human Suffering and Learning To Live Without Answers of Our Illness

“Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud. And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.” (Job 30:15-16)

Suffering. It is as old as the day of mankind’s first sin. No wonder we want to attribute some sin to everything that happens to us, or to someone else. Sometimes it may be a sin or some foolish act that has caused our pain and brought us to the place we are now. But more than likely it is a mystery as to why we are chosen, or struck by “fate.”

I have wasted more time wondering if I might have done something to cause my illness, or rather, might have done something to prevent it. I wish I had spent that time thinking on positives, or at least dwelling on another topic. In the book of Job in the Bible we have the story of a man who did no wrong, yet was singled out for testing of the worst kind. Satan got God’s permission to give Job one test after another–the loss of wealth, his cattle, workers, and source of income. Worse still, the loss of his children. All these terrors were one after another. Still Job didn’t sin by cursing God. Finally the devil gets permission to attack Job’s health–isn’t it interesting that the devil considered this a greater test?

So there is poor Job, wife telling him to essentially kill himself by cursing God. Some “friends” show up just to tell him how horrible he was to bring this on himself. Job wants an answer from God–a face-to-face meeting. God appears, tells Job to explain the beauty and the workings of the universe. Job is silent, asks God to forgive his foolishness, and his friends’ foolishness. God blesses Job in the end, more than in the beginning. The End–not!

We see this ancient play going on in a thousand ways all around the world. Some claim that because God allows suffering, He must not be real. They should read the book of Job. Notice that God never gave a reason for the suffering of Job. God doesn’t owe us a reason for our troubles. He will use our troubles to help us to grow and learn to trust and depend on Him. He may use our troubles to help comfort others who are suffering. But don’t expect an answer for your trials.

We are left–like Job–to find comfort in knowing God is there, He is ultimately in control, and He hears, and cares.*

Our God cares. That is the message you need to hold on to no matter how many struggles are thrown at you. God has not abandoned you despite your present circumstances. Soon you will be able to see beyond the circumstances, like Job did, and get a greater vision of the God who loves us and is with us in our suffering.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we face many difficulties in life, help us never to forget that You are with us even in the midst of life’s hardest challenges. Amen.

*Excerpt from the book:Chronic Illness

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is author of the book “Chronic Illness”. If you have a Kindle, and would like a free Kindle copy, send your request to: youngeagle@gmail.com

You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com

Do you sometimes feel like Job, like one thing after another has been lining up to cause you affliction? Have you called upon God to answer your hard questions about suffering?

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6 thoughts on “Human Suffering and Learning To Live Without Answers of Our Illness

  1. Karlton, thank you for your words of truth. Suffering is difficult enough without heaping upon it that we must of sinned. Yes, time is negatively wasted as we spend our energy believing the lie of punishment by God. I so agree with how you used Job to relate this point. I know from my own experiences that we also don’t know why things happen, so sometimes we speak to fill the awkward silence of not knowing. I have done this and have had this done to me. Jobs friends made it a whole week with remaining silent, until they ripped him apart. Glad that our Lord knows all things and that we can rely on Him for truth. God bless you, Karlton.

  2. Karlton, during the first two years of my chronic illness I was entrenched in reviewing every aspect of my life to see where I had “sinned”. Part of this came from a teaching in the church I was attending that was big on “inner healing”. There are certainly life events that need God’s healing touch to our emotions and memories but I went overboard. I thought ( wrongly ) that if I could only find the key in “me”, then all would be restored.

    I believe it is a process – coming to the acceptance that there is some suffering that is not going to go away by us praying it away. However, praying in the midst of suffering will open up other avenues where God wants to work, areas we many never had seen or sought had we not been challneged by our physical conditions.

  3. Notsamson – here on my thoughts on your question, “How does one worship God in truth?”

    I believe that we “worship in spirit and truth” when we can get outside our circumstances that cause us anxitey or pain. I do not mean that we ignore their reality but we recognize that God’s Holy Spirit, sent to be our indwelling counsellor and comforter is worthy to be praised and worshipped because of who He is, not solely becaue we can gain “some thing” from it.

    That would be pure worship and only He can lead us to that and in so doing, we will reap the comfort of knowing His Presence even when we may not feel comfortable – a peace that can pass all understanding. I believe we worship because we are in relationship with HIm. It is the language of that relationship.

  4. Thank you Cindy, notsamson, and Lynn.
    We must forgive ourselves so that we can accept God’s forgiveness, and then let it go. So often we cling to past sins and needlessly punish ourselves for perceived sins. We worship God in spirit by worshiping Him from our heart. We praise Him for the small and great things in our lives and keep a grateful heart, thanking Him continually for His blessings. God Bless you all!
    Karlton

  5. Pingback: Life Is Too Short To Waste It, Especially When Chronically Ill « Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals

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