READ: Job 1-2
THINK: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" "Where is God when tragedy strikes?" Though these questions take many forms, they all represent a struggle to reconcile the idea of an all-loving, all-powerful God with all the bad things going on in the world. However, love doesn't necessarily contradict or eliminate suffering, nor does faithfulness to God guarantee freedom from difficulty and pain. In fact, Jesus said to expect trouble in life (John 16:1-4,33). The Bible provides many examples of godly people who suffered significantly for a variety of reasons. Among them are Joseph, King David, the prophet Jeremiah and the apostle Paul. Jesus Christ, of course, endured the ultimate suffering to accomplish the ultimate good, making spiritual salvation available to all (1 Peter 3:18).
RESPOND: What does it mean that Job "was blameless and upright," and what was the foundation of his character? (See 1:1 second note.) How did Job show love and responsibility for his family? (See 1:5 note.) What does this passage reveal about how Satan attacks people's relationships with God? (See 1:6-7 note.) What was the basis for Satan's accusations? (See 1:9 note.) In what way did Satan question Job's motives and God's character? (See 1:9 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) What was the "hedge" Satan perceived around Job and his family (1:10), and how did it get there? (See 1:10 note, subpoints 1 & 2.) What primary questions are dealt with in the book of Job? (See 1:11 note.) After Satan brought disaster on Job, how do we know that God was still in control? (See 1:12 note.) What was extraordinary about Job's response to tragedy? (See 1:20 note.) How do Job's innocent sufferings symbolize Jesus life? (See 2:3 note.) Why did God allow Satan to inflict further pain, and what would God demonstrate through this? (See 2:6 note.) What did Job understand about how God's people would be tested in life? (See 2:10 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you develop upright character that honors Him and steers you away from evil. Pray for God's protection and purpose in the life of each of your family members. Pray for the faith and strength to rely on God through times of suffering and tragedy. Give God thanks that He's always in control.
ACT: Do something to show kindness, respect, responsibility or encouragement to your family members. If you've sensed Satan's accusations directed at a particular issue in your life, give that area to God and trust Him to give you peace about it. Also, take time to praise God for who He is, not just for what He's done or what He's given you.
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