And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.JOB 28:28
I can’t think of anything that arouses more questions than human suffering. Everyone has asked God why they are experiencing pain in their life, but who has ever cried out to God in complaint of why God would allow them to have their needs met? It’s not surprising that the book of Job has more questions than any other book of the Bible, with a grand total of 330 (compared to the 160 questions in the entire book of Psalms).
This month, God blessed us with one of the most impactful moments I have experienced in our School of Discipleship. The eyes of our students were opened as we studied through the book of Job and contemplated the theology of suffering. At the heart of the animistic worldview of tribal Africa is witchcraft, and at the heart of witchcraft is the belief that nothing happens by accident. The belief that behind every success was a sell-out to a spirit, and behind every difficulty was an angry spirit who was most likely manipulated by a devious person. But this month, I had the privilege of watching God use the story of Job to chop at the roots of this destructive, false worldview. One of the book’s intentions is to remove suffering from the category of retribution: “Who did what to deserve what’s happening?” and put it into the category of God’s wisdom: “What is God trying to accomplish through allowing this in my life?” It was beautiful to watch ministers settle in the goodness of God’s power over pain.
Matt & Noelle & Family