Suffering Leads to Growth (Job 34:13–15) - Radical
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Suffering Leads to Growth (Job 34:13–15)

“Who gave him charge over the earth and who laid on him the whole world? If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together and man would return to dust.”
-Job 34:13–15

So this is a theme we’ve seen in different points in the book of Job, the sovereignty of God, the power of God, the reality that every single one of us at every single second is sustained by God and not just us. Everything in the world is sustained by God, is held up by God and in Colossians one kind of way, everything exists in and from and through Him. He holds all things together. Colossians 1 is specifically talking about Jesus being the one who holds the whole universe together and so when we read this in Job 34, so we were praying in the previous podcast episode from Job chapter 33, about how God uses suffering in our lives even if it’s not because of any particular evil or sin in us.

Job 34:13–15 Reminds Us God is Refining Our Faith

God is still working to refine our faith. So that’s one of the many purposes of God in suffering to refine our faith. Here’s another purpose. God uses suffering to bring us to that awareness that we need Him in every way, for everything in our lives. As we walk through difficulties, trials, valleys in our lives, don’t we see our need for God in even greater ways, in ways that we’re sometimes prone or tempted to miss when everything is going well for us. It’s a good thing. I think about seasons in my life where I’m walking through, have experienced suffering, pain, grief, whatever it might be like.

Job 34:13–15 Teaches Us We Need God

You wake up every morning just saying, “God, I need you. I need Your help in this way. I need Your grace and this way. I need Your strength. I feel so weak. I need Your joy. I need these things from You,” and in this, we see part of the good and redeeming and refining purposes of God because it’s good for us to wake up every morning and realize we need God and not just realize we need Him, but realize He is faithful to give us all that we need. Philippians 4:19. “My God will supply all your needs.”

Oh, just let this soak in today, especially if you’re walking through one of those valleys, one of those seasons. My God will supply all your needs according to the glories of His riches in Christ Jesus. So we pray. God help us to live in total dependence on You today. God, remove all pride from us, we pray. We say together based on Job 34 and what we see all over the Bible and what we know about ourselves.

This Verse Shows Us Our Weaknesses

We need You. We need You. We are weak and You are strong. We can do nothing without You and so teach us to rely on You. Teach us to depend on You. Teach us to see You as our sustainer in every single way. I think about Paul in 2 Corinthians 1. We were so utterly unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. Yes, God, may it be so in us. Teach us to rely on You who raise the dead.

Oh, even to think about suffering, that leads to death, but You’ve conquered death. Lord Jesus, You have risen from the grave. So we rely on You for life today. We rely on You for life for all of eternity. Oh God, please then in our suffering, in our valleys, in low, hard, painful, difficult days, help us teach our minds and our hearts to trust in You as our sustainer and our savior forever. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to Job 34. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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