The following five observations taken from Job 22-31 are ways that we can begin to think as we become embittered at the suffering we experience. Job 22-31 is the third cycle of conversation between Job and his three friends and gives a window into the bitterness of suffering that Job experienced. Here are five ingredients that erode a believer’s soul:
- We assume that God is absent. (Job 23:8-9). Job admits that while God may be omnipresent, he might as well be absent. Job has become a functional deist. Deism is the philosophy that a Creator created the world and left it to operate as chance would have it. God is either blind to my problems or indifferent.
- We declare that God is unjust. (Job 24:1-12). According to this soul-killing understanding is the idea that God is very aware of the deeds of the wicked and does nothing. God doesn’t even bring an accusation that someone has done wrong.
- We believe God supports the wicked. (Job 24:13-23) We read in Psalms and the authors are regularly asserting this position. When we soak in the marinade of our own bitterness, our minds become jaded and twisted against God our Father.
- We think God’s love is conditional based on experience. (Job 29:1-10). Is this your view of God? Do you believe that when the bills are paid and money is in the bank that God loves you? But when trials come one after another that somehow God is displeased with you?
- We assign character traits to God that are the opposite of who He is. (Job 30:16-27). How we think bleeds out into our speech. This is one reason why we desperately need the renewing of our mind in the Scripture by reading the Bible on a daily basis.