Suffering is Not the End (Job 7:2–3) - Radical

Suffering is Not the End (Job 7:2–3)

“Like a slave who longs for the shadow, like a hired hand who looks for his wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness and nights of misery are apportioned to me.”
-Job 7:2–3

The whole picture here is Job is talking to his friends, is him describing suffering, like the work of a servant or a hired hand who’s doing all this work and getting nothing for it. It’s like his suffering is totally futile. It’s leading nowhere. There’s no reward. There’s no hope.

It’s just discouraging work and that’s the end of the story and, oh, that’s how suffering can often feel, isn’t it? Like, “What’s the point of this? Why?” Like, I think about even the journey our family’s been walking through just waiting for a son that we can’t go to overseas and it just doesn’t make sense. “Why, why, why? What’s the point of this?”

Job 7:2–3 Provides Us with an Example

And that’s just one example, there’s so many examples and so many more severe examples that you have walked or are walking through, and that’s where Job, this book, is so helpful. It brings things to the surface that are so real, like the Bible is not just a book that glosses over the hard realities of life in a sinful world.

And it presents those realities, and yet we know, we know from the whole book, the whole Bible and the whole book of Job that there is reward coming. There’s hope, there’s joy in the end. I don’t want to jump ahead yet to Job 42, but it’s coming and the reality is, that is true for everyone who trusts in God that suffering will not have the last word and it won’t be futile. It won’t be futile.

Job 7:2–3 Points Us to Romans 8

Romans 8 makes that clear. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

“A glory.” Reward is coming. It’s coming. So God, we pray, help us to keep our eyes fixed on your promises and the hope of reward, the hope of glory to come when we walk through suffering. Even in this world, God, to trust that you’re working in ways we don’t even see for good, in our lives, in others’ lives that we may meet and encounter and see, or we may not. May be totally unknown to us. God, we trust you’re doing good things. There’s reward happening even around us or in us as we walk through suffering.

Led to Ask God to Guard Us

Oh, God, guard us from thinking that our suffering is the end. When we know, based on your whole word. That our suffering is not the end. That you’re doing all kinds of good things in and through and around our suffering. Even, and that ultimately, glory is coming for all who trust in you. So help us, oh, God, help us to trust in you and even as we pray that. In Jesus’ name, we pray that knowing you are infinitely trustworthy.

Jesus, you died on the cross for our sins. You’ve risen from the grave. God, you’ve restored us to a relationship with God. You’ve given us this hope of glory, so yes, we trust in you, oh, God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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