Suffering: How long does God allow suffering to continue? Part 6

This is Part 6 of 6 parts answering the question, “How long does God allow suffering to continue?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?”

God Determines the Length of Time

As Job suffered under the enemy’s assault and the indifferent misunderstanding of his friends, he wished that he had not been born (Job 3:12). By the end of this book, we are reminded that God is sovereign over all the details of life (Job 38-41). Instead of questioning God, we need to put our hand over our mouth and stop the doubting complaints against His sovereignty.   The only godly response is what Job confessed to the righteous Lord,

Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 3 You asked,`Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said,`I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6 NKJ)

How long does God allow trials in the believer’s life? He allows them until glory is brought to His name and we are conformed to the image of His Son Jesus. David wrote in Psalm 37:7, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” The verb “wait” is written in a special verb tense called a “hithpolel,” which is a picture of one who is dealing with the emotional throbbing of pain or writhing in pain, yet looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of his faith. Oh, dear saint of God, hold onto the Lord Jesus! His deliverance draws near!

Our choice is to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him.

Discussion Questions:

1) In your perspective, how long is too long to suffer?

2) When you have seen others endure pain, how have they handled it?

3) What principles of Scripture have you relied upon to help you wait on the Lord?

4) How can you come alongside someone else in order to help him endure his suffering?

5) How do the above principles motivate you to want to reach out to unbelievers?

This concludes this question.

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