He has called us to suffer and in that suffering, we will know Jesus more deeply.

We are currently living in a world of uncertainty like most of us have never known.  It is easy to fall into the “Why Me?” line of questioning. Our expectations of God begin to surface and reveal themselves as well as our hearts.  
Our text reveals the heart of a man who learned to trust in God in the worst of circumstances.  Not many of us have experienced the kind of loss that Job experienced when Satan was given permission to sift  Him. Did you hear that…Satan had to get permission to test Job! What kind of God would allow that?? Have YOU ever experienced a loss that made you question the love of God?  I confess that I have! So where do we go from here? What do we know about God that will give us true help and peace when our faith is put to the test?
First, can I remind you that God has never promised us that we would not suffer?  In fact, the call He has given to us is to come and die!  Luke 14:27  “Whoever does not carry their cross (instrument of death) and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi says that he counts all things as loss just to know Jesus more and how he had suffered so that he might know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. (Philippians 3:7-11)  And finally, in Romans 5:1-5 we find the ultimate purpose for our suffering which is a hope that does not disappoint! In God’s perfect wisdom, He has called us to suffer and in that suffering, we will know Jesus more deeply.
You may be wondering at this point, is this a God I want to know, let alone serve?  Can I encourage you with a few final thoughts? God has promised to be near to us in our suffering. Psalm 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”   God will not waste your suffering. 2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”   God will use your suffering. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all troubles so that we might comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 
 So brothers and sisters, rather than asking “Why me?”  let us be grateful to be counted worthy of suffering for the sake of our Lord and may we be always prepared to give an answer to those who ask us to give a reason for the hope that we have!

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