Suffering is something which each of us are sure to face. From a biblical perspective, there has never been a promise made for permanently removing suffering, or the effects of suffering, this side of paradise. More than this, any belief system which may promise a lasting reprieve from suffering is sure to disappoint.
Yet how do we actually deal with the inevitable suffering which is sure to come? Lead Pastor, Jeremy Olfert looks at the book of Job in this week’s sermon for some keys to understanding the nature of comfort in the midst of suffering. Job, chapters 5 and 6 are an account of how Job is dealing the early stages of his suffering in conversation with his three friends. He calls them miserable comforters, and their advice to him is worthless and empty. This is primarily because they are ignoring the real meaning of Job’s suffering, and making up reasons to try and explain it away. They say that if only Job confesses his sin, he will be delivered. The moral conclusion of this type of thinking is the prosperity movement, where if we are faithful to God, then He will shower us with material physical blessings.
Job approaches his suffering with honesty however. He hangs onto his claim of righteousness and rejects the ‘spiritual rationalism’ of his friends. Job also sees God as his ultimate authority and source for everything, even in the midst of misery. He never considers suicide, but instead realizes that all life belongs to God, it is His to do with as He sees fit.
For us though, our ultimate comfort is found not in rationalizing our suffering away, or praying to be blessed with untold physical and material blessings; we look to Christ! Jesus, who endured manifestly more suffering than even Job, did so in complete innocence. Not only did he suffer in innocence, it says he suffered in our place!
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Comfort is only, ultimately found in the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
To learn how you can experience this life giving relationship with your creator, join us for a Sunday morning service and check out Pastor Jeremy’s full sermon here.
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