When something or someone hurts your feelings, where do you run? The book of Psalms repeatedly asks God where He is in the midst of our pain. After all, we’d really love it if God would stop the hurting since He can.
Amazingly however, the book of Job never answers the questions: “Where is God in my pain?” nor “Why does God allow such struggle in our lives?” Even Job himself received no answers to these questions—only elsewhere in the Bible do we discover their solutions.
When we’re struggling or suffering, finding out “why” is never enough.
There’s another question we need to ask.
The Question We Ought to Ask When Hurting
Amidst Job’s confusion as to why he, a blameless man, should experience such suffering and hurting, God broadened Job’s horizon by giving him a science quiz (Job 38:4-5, 12). God asked Job questions about zoology, astronomy, and oceanography—none of which Job can answer.
The Lord essentially tells Job: “If you grapple with understanding simple things like how to build a planet—if you struggle to comprehend the visible, physical realm—how can you possibly begin to understand answers to questions regarding the invisible, spiritual realm?”
Rather than asking: “Where is God in my pain?” the book of Job urges us to ask: “Where am I in my pain?” In other words, how will we respond to that which we cannot understand? That’s the question when we’re hurting.
Will we trust God?
The Limitations of Asking Why
I find it fascinating God never told Job why it all happened to him (knowing “why” gives little relief when we hurt). Job needed what we all need when we hurt: a deeper confidence in the good God who controls of every realm of existence.
I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. —Job 42:2
In other words, even though Job stammered to understand God’s reasons, Job still trusted that God had them—and they were good.
The Freedom of Trusting God’s Purpose
In times of pain, you and I also sit strapped to a limited perspective.
- We absolutely cannot comprehend all that goes on behind the scenes in the spiritual and moral realm of God’s dealing with us.
- We can understand, however, that a good God does understand it all and works it all for our good (Romans 8:28).
And its purpose? That we may “become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). Rather than asking: “Where is God in my pain?” We should ask and answer: “Where am I in my pain?” How will we respond to that which we cannot understand?
Let’s respond by trusting God.
Tell me what you think: What question do you usually ask in your struggles? To leave a comment, just click here.