2 On another day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
God allows suffering and we experience varying degrees of it on a daily basis. How we respond to suffering quickly reveals who God is to us. If our response to suffering is that God has either not cared enough to prevent it or has not done enough to stop it, we view God as not entirely good, not entirely loving and not entirely capable. This approach to God will only nurture a bitter and resentful view of Him. On the other hand, the God of the Bible repeatedly reminds his people that He can use even the most difficult trial that we face to bring about more blessing than we could ever possibly have imagined. Bitterness toward God produced by suffering comes from an inflated view of ourselves and a near absolute distrust of God as he presents Himself to be. Suffering that results in bitterness declares “God is there only to give me what I want and nothing else.” However, a relationship with the living God necessitates the understanding that all we have is His. When we know His character, the way in which he chooses to use our environment and particular circumstances is entirely up to Him. And while we might not always understand his methods, we can remain confident that the intent is always good and the final product will always be good, because He is always good.