When You’re Questioning God About WHY You’re Suffering

In church on Sunday, we sang one of my favorite songs: “Behold Our God.” The second verse really caught my attention:

“Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His Words?
Who can teach the One who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds?”

These words come from the Book of Job. After Job loses everything—his money, his family, and his health—his 3 friends come on the scene and try to comfort Him, basically telling him that his suffering is punishment for his many sins. Job defends himself, saying that his suffering isn’t a sign of God’s punishment; instead, Job says, his suffering is a sign of God’s arbitrariness toward him (see Job 30:19-22).

These finite men were trying to (unsuccessfully) explain the ways of an infinite God.

Eventually, God sweeps in and says to Job, “Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?” (38:2, MSG). Another translation puts it, “Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words?” (HCSB), and still another, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” (NLT).

Oh, how many times I question God’s wisdom with ignorant words!

Every time I think I know better than God what’s good for me, I’m trying to give counsel to the One who knows all things. Every time I convince myself that I’m suffering because God’s either punishing me or He’s forgotten about me, I’m talking without knowing what I’m talking about. Every time I get angry or frustrated and shake my fist at heaven because I think my suffering is meaningless and cruel, I’m questioning God’s wisdom.

Emily Ellis
Emily Ellis
Emily Ellis is the content editor for Journey, LifeWay's devotional for women, where she also writes a monthly column. To read more of her writing, check out her blog BelievingAtMidnight.com

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