The Book of Job
In recent years, different religious doctrines on the concept of suffering relate to the excruciating manner of how Jesus Christ suffered and died. Much of this can be attributed to the perspective that Jesus Christ’s suffering and death offers hope to people experiencing a substantial amount of suffering.
As Paul Crowley writes, Jesus’ suffering and death signifies the inevitability of suffering while implying that suffering is also a way of realizing God’s divine plan. Crowley furthers that the experience of suffering is one factor that strengthens people thereby giving hopes of overcoming ordeals and eventually experiencing the blissful feeling of overcoming suffering (2005, 12). It is in this regard that the Book of Job in the Bible’s Old Testament reflects a similar concept on suffering; that suffering can serve sheds light for people in such a way that they are prompted to realize the true essence of why people experience suffering.
In the book, it is quite clear that Job remained a servant of God by as Job entails “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” despite all the misfortunes Job experienced (Job 1: 20, New International Version). Job’s initial reaction upon seeing God face-to-face further justifies the account that his own experience of intolerable agony compels people to look at the brighter side of life as the book connotes how the presence of God in people’s lives give a sense of comfort, especially to suffering people.
Suffering in its many forms and contexts never fail to dishearten people, regardless of the aspect it affects. However, certain biblical reflections impart that suffering is a part of human life and it is necessary to fortify people in terms of their faith. Moreover, the story of Job and the suffering of Jesus Christ entail that pain and torment are not forms of punishment for leading sinful lives, but a call of optimism for good things to come.
Crowley, P. (2005). Unwanted Wisdom: Suffering, The Cross, And Hope. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.