Suffering: How should we live during the suffering God allows? Part 3

This is Part 3 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.

The Enemy Wants You To Suffer So He Can Confuse You

In the midst of suffering, emotional crises, or relational upheaval, it is hard to look at life objectively. I’ve watched this happen too many times in the lives of others as they face or recover from surgery, or become emotionally drained as they watch a loved one ebb away from life in death. We are composed of both the material and immaterial, and they are strongly connected. The physical affects the spiritual.

On top of that, there is an enemy who wants you to suffer to create more confusion. His tactics often involve accusing us of having the wrong motives. For example, when Satan approached God in the book of Job, he accused Job of disingenuous obedience.

8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:8-11 NKJ)

Why was Job serving the Lord? Satan’s accusation claimed that he did so for selfish reasons, to get a greater reward. He was saying, “Job doesn’t really care if he honors or exalts the Lord or not! He’s just looking for the payoff. Job is not blameless and upright and He doesn’t really fear God!” Well, God is omniscient (all-knowing), so He could have just said, “I know not only what his actions and words are, but I know the thoughts and intentions of his heart” (Heb. 4:12-13). Instead, God used Job’s response to his trials to prove to Satan that his (Job’s) intentions were pure.  He maintained this outlook by resting on, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.” (Job 1:21) Job had pure, upright motivations. There was no confusion on Job’s part!

However, Satan was not going to give up so easily! After the second round of testing, which also failed to prove his allegations, Satan used Job’s friends to create confusion and discord. When they attacked Job’s character by using wrong theology, Job learned to keep his eyes on the Lord in simple trust (Job 42:1-6). That is how you will overcome today – by fixing your eyes on the Lord Jesus!

Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.

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