For many chapters Job has been begging for an audience with God, longing for an opportunity to please his innocence. But when God finally gives it to him, Job wisely decides to remain quiet, recognizing that he, as a limited and fallible human being, had no right to judge the God who created the universe, nor the right to demand answers to things he didn't understand.
My Life Application bible had some good thoughts.....
Four Views of Suffering
Satan's view: People believe in God only when they are prospering and not suffering. This is wrong.
The view of Job's three friends: Suffering is God's judgment for sin. This is not always true.
Elihu's view: Suffering is God's way to teach, discipline, and refine. This is true, but an incomplete explanation.
God's view: Suffering causes us to trust God for who He is, not what He does.
When We Suffer
Here are six questions to ask ourselves when we suffer, and what to do if the answer is yes.
Am I being punished by God for sin? Confess known sin.
Is Satan attacking me as I try to survive as a Christian? Call on God for strength.
Am I being prepared for a special service, learning to be compassionate to those who suffer? Resist self-pity. Ask God to open up doors of opportunity and help you discover others who suffer as you do.
Am I specifically selected for testing, like Job? Accept help from the body of believers. Trust God to work his purpose through you.
Is my suffering a result of natural consequences for which I am not directly responsible? Recognize that in a sinful world, both good and evil people will suffer. But the good person has a promise from God that those sufferings will one day come to an end.
Is my suffering due to some unknown reason? Don't draw inward from the pain. Proclaim your faith in God, know that He cares, and wait patiently for His aid.
It is very interesting that when Job does finally repent, it is not for committing secret sins, as his friends had thought, but rather for questioning God's sovereignty and justice. When things happen that we don't understand, we too, must choose between doubt and trust.
It's important to note that just because God restored Job's former blessings to him, (and then some!), that things do not always end that way here on earth. We are definitely not guaranteed material restoration, but we are promised complete restoration in eternity. May we cling to the knowledge that He is good, He is just, He will turn bad into good, He is sovereign, He is all-powerful - He is our hope.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Exodus 1-3