Job’s friends weren’t the only ones with incorrect views of suffering. Job had his own problems because trials reveal the faulty views of the sufferer. I see at least three in Job 4-14.
- Death is better than life. (Job 6:8-13)
This is the position when trials continue with no end in sight, when health crises are unavoidable, when emotional trauma is unending, when relational conflict is unresolvable.Yes, some people, unfortunately, consider suicide.
While suicide is a serious sin it is not the unpardonable sin. Obviously, this is a faulty response to suffering.
- What did I do wrong?! (Job 7.19-21; 10:2)
Th thinking goes something like this: surely, the reason why I am experiencing hell on earth is that I have done something. Rarely is there a one to one correlation in suffering. Job did not know why he was suffering and had God not revealed that it was God’s idea we too would not have known.
- Competing Desires. (Job 13:15).
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This first line is very tweetable. It will make a great Instagram with a sunset background or a great opening line for a song on suffering. It reflects our spiritual desires in moments of hope, but we often forget the last phrase of v15. This is so real and raw at the same time. It captures what we struggle with: the desire to trust God and the desire to vindicate ourselves before God, to argue our case.
What faulty views of Job’s suffering do you see in Job 4-14? What is a Christian approach to suffering?