READ: Job 6-8
THINK: Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Does God have something against me? If you've ever experienced any degree of pain, suffering or tragedy you've probably wrestled with questions like these. The struggle can be even more excruciating and confusing when you've been doing the right things, yet it seems that God is not rewarding you accordingly. Though Job wasn't seeking a reward, he was still perplexed by his pain and problems, to the point where it seemed God had turned against him. Even so, Job knew he could go to God with his questions and frustrations. And even if God didn't seem to provide the answers, He was still listening and looking out for Job.
RESPOND: What did Job think was the reason for his misery? (See 6:4 note.) What thoughts and questions do you think he was wrestling with in his own mind? What was Job's one source of comfort and confidence through his pain and suffering? (See 6:10 note.) How and why does staying true to God through difficulty and pain bring joy and peace? Did Job feel support from his friends? Why or why not (6:14-21)? What challenge did Job make to his friends (6:24-30)? Who is Job talking to in chapter 7, and what was Job's greatest concern? (See 7:1 note.) When Job spoke of "the anguish of my spirit" and "the bitterness of my soul," what did he mean, and what forms of suffering did he experience? (See 7:11 note.) Why did Job want God to leave him alone? (See 7:16 note.) What misconceptions did Job have about his relationship with God at this point (7:17-21)? How can we tell that Job considered the possibility that his friends were right and he had done something wrong (7:20-21)? (See 7:20 note.) What was Bildad's view of the situation, and what did he think Job needed to do? (See 8:6 note.) In what ways was Bildad right and in what ways was he wrong? What assumptions did Bildad make about God and about Job? (See 8:6 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you develop the strength to stay true to Him through any circumstances. Thank Him for the joy and peace He gives, even through the most trying times, and for never leaving you alone.
ACT: Encourage someone you know who is going through a hard time. If you can, do something practical to help him or her. You might consider taking them out to eat or to an activity to take their mind off things. If they want to talk, listen. If you're going through a tough time, look for what you can learn and how your faith can grow through it.
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