Read Job 2:7-10
7 So Satan left the LORD’s presence,and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.
8 Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him,”Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”
10 But Job replied,”You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this,Job said nothing wrong. (NLT)
We sometimes hear of people who have given up on God because of some dreadful thing that has happened to them or to others. “I stopped believing in God when my son died.” “I gave up on God when I saw news reports of children starving in the Sudan.” “Since God hasn’t healed my cancer I figured he wasn’t worth believing in.”
All very understandable. And all rather foolish at the same time. Here is Job,sitting on his desolate ash heap. Afflicted with terrible pain and now confronted by his wife who urges him to give up on God. What’s the point of faith in this God if this is what happens? Job is more resilient and clearheaded. He knows that faith in God means taking the rough with the smooth.
The book of Job has no ultimate answer to the issue of unfair suffering. Job is simply reminded at the end that God is great and is with him. That is enough for Job. Trusting in a God who allows such suffering is itself painful,but it is the best way through the suffering.
Besides,to give up on God doesn’t help matters much. An atheist or agnostic suffers just as much and they do so without the bottom line,if mysterious,recognition of God’s ultimate goodness. Beware of jumping from the frying pan of faith into the fire of unbelief.