Our Role in Suffering

By: Tim Rowland

Job 42:1-2

Then Job replied to the Lord, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”


On a past Challenge Weekend, the level of pain people were experiencing as a result of the economy was palatable. It reminded me of Job and his trials. I can count at least 20 individuals from family members, CIC members, and friends, who are unemployed or underemployed. Each must feel much like Job, asking where God is in this situation. God never revealed to Job the reason for all of his pain and suffering, and I suspect that most of my friends who are in difficult times want to know why this is happening.

What is our role in all of this suffering? We can’t take the place of those who are hurting or lessen the pain. In fact, a mature Christian view would suggest that we would never want to get in the way of God’s plan, especially if there are lessons to be learned. We know that God is in charge and that he can do all things. We should neither desire nor try to thwart his plans. This doesn’t mean that we can’t empathize – we should. We are to walk with our brothers and sisters by praying for them, encouraging them, and helping them when possible. It is up to Jesus to carry them though.

There are many grace-filled opportunities for each of us to reach out and walk with brothers and sisters. How? We do this in part by helping them to praise God through and in spite of hardships; not with trite words, but with genuine love and service. Let us begin!


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Whom do you know who is suffering? How can you bring the hope of Christ to this person?