Kendra Intihar 

Today's Scripture: “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’” Job 1:8, ESV  

Theme: Living for God does not isolate you from the troubles and trials of the world. Bad things do happen to good people.  


It’s the perennial human question: If God is love, if God is wisdom and power, then why is there suffering in this world? 

The short answer is that we cannot fully know. It’s not the answer we want, because we love tidy explanations for everything in this life, but all Jesus told us was that in this world, we will definitely have trouble (John 16:33). He didn’t say why. He didn’t give us specifics about what it would look like. He just said we could count on it. 


Many times, I’ve heard a “karmic” version of the Gospel which distorts this truth. It assumes that when good things happen to believers, it’s because they were Christian-enough, and when bad things happen to us, it’s because of some sin we’ve committed. In fact, Jesus Himself refutes this false teaching in John 9, when He declares that “neither this man nor his parents sinned,” causing his blindness. Jesus further stated: that rather he was blind, “so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3-4, NIV).  

While our actions can – and often do – have consequences, the Lord is not following us around making divine tally marks in our “good” and “sinful” columns so that He can dispense the justice we deserve for our performance. That’s not the Gospel. In fact, that’s a different religion altogether. Sometimes, without any cosmic reason at all, bad things just happen to good people. 


If we haven’t experienced tragedy or deep grief yet, then we just haven’t lived long enough. In time, we all go through something – or likely, many somethings – that make us ponder the purpose of pain. In our desperation to explain suffering to our brothers and sisters, we use insensitive (and even unbiblical) axioms like, “This is part of God’s plan,” and “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” We want to make sense of it all through the lens of a loving God. In our well-meaning attempts, we clean up the messiness of suffering with our Christian-ese phrases wrapped in neat packages. But grief is messy. And as much as we want to, we can’t make it un-messy.  

Jesus knew that. One of the most beautiful things about the Lord is that He saw the suffering His Creation was enduring. He entered into it with us. He is the only God who ever dared to be wounded because of His deep and abiding love for each and every one of us. Imagine that. A God who let Himself be human because He wanted us to know that He is truly with us in our sorrow and suffering. Emmanuel. God WITH us. In this world we will have trouble, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b). 

Make it Personal: We get to choose how we will react in times of tragedy and suffering. Will we allow our pain to make us bitter toward God and others? Or will it cause us to turn toward Jesus and be a light in a desperately lost and hurting world? Will it make us angry or empathetic? Suffering and death hold no power over our lives – Jesus is the Victor. Pain is a part of our existence, but God wins. God gets the last word. God gave us Hope, in the Person of Jesus, in the middle of our suffering. He is the Prince of Peace, and we have the freedom to run toward that peace or away from it. It’s up to us to choose. 

Pray: God, in our suffering, be near. Let us feel Your presence and Your peace. Remind us that You’re not watching our pain from afar but enduring it together with us. Thank You for Your co-suffering love that saves the world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.  

Read: James 1:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Isaiah 51:11-12 

Weekly Memory Verse:  

“I had only heard about you before, 

 but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 

I take back everything I said, 

and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:5-6, NLT