“Satan has asked to sift each of you as wheat.”      Luke 22:31 NLT

With the recent tragedy of the movie theater injured and loss of so many innocent lives, – it is often a time when people stop for a bit from the business of their daily lives.  It is a time when age old questions well up from inside you.

One of the most common questions come from out of the pain in your own life.

Why does God let innocent people suffer?  Suddenly nothing about this life seems to make sense.  The horrific brutality of such an unGodly act.  All this death and suffering from a very deranged mine.   What kind of a loving God would allow such an unspeakable act?  Even the strongest Christian’s faith can falter.

Well thankfully our God does not leave us in the darkness of all this grief and loss.  He comes and comforts us by His presence with us.  How do I know?  Because we cry out to Him.  If we didn’t believe, we wouldn’t cry out.  But He doesn’t just leave us with Himself and comfort.  He answers our questions.

If you have been following my blog, you know I have had my own share of tragedy’s.  So I know something of what I have to share with you now.

Here is God’s answer if you will listen.

Several months ago, my best friend and I spent several months on a study and lecture series of the life of “Job” in the Old Testament of the Bible.  I certainly knew the story having read it many times.  But not this way.

Now I won’t debate with you about the theology or whether Job was a real person or it is all just a myth or anything else you want to believe.  That is between you and God.  But I can tell you this.

Job is more than just some story in the Bible.  It is about the reality and truth of your life and mine while we are here on this earth.  It is what is happening to you now and will go on the rest of your stay. But don’t let that discourage you.  More on that in a bit.

You see – if you read the account the first thing you read is that Satan has to ask God.  And while God grants his request he sets limits.  You see, there is this battle going on even now in this life here that has nothing to do with you and me.  But it affects us. And we are the targets in which all of this battle is played out. Even more we are not even consulted.  If you are a “I have my rights” kind of person, you might take offense to that truth.

You see the truth is there is a war going on the heavenlys of which we are a  part.  All of this suffering of the innocent as well as the lost is a raging war.  And that war is over your very life.  Are you going to be God’s or are you going to let Satan have you?  To whom do you belong? Job and his friends battle over that thought the book.  The battles you read are the battles you are fighting while you are here.  All the struggles, all the questions, all the doubts, all the demands for answers from God, your theology, your faith.

Then there comes the time when Job demands answers.  Kind of like you at times like this.  He wants to God to listen.  To care, to rescue, to restore, to explain, to justify. But he doesn’t get the answers he expects or wants for that matter.

God’s first response is, “Who is this that darkens my door?”  Not the kind of answer you are looking for.  Then God goes on to ask you all kinds of questions about this life, this world and even your own existence that you can’t answer.  In the end Job comes to realize God is God and he is man.  He comes to realize God not only created him, but has the right as his creator to do as He pleases.  But he also comes to realize to whom He belongs and that despite how his life looks and what is happening to him, he is in God’s hand and Satan doesn’t win.  He believes and trusts God.  That is part of why you are and see all of this suffering.  It is written; “He learned obedience by what He suffered.”  What do you think is going to happen to you and me?  In other words even Christ  had to learn to (obey), draw near, listen to our Father, our Creator in His sufferings.

Here is the rest of the story;

Satan has asked, but here is Christ’s reply;

Luke 22:32 (MSG) 32 Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”

So our wonderful God, Father and creator doesn’t just stop there.  He has sent His Son.  Even more Christ not only paid the price of this war over you and me, He asked our Father to protect our faith and trust in Him and when we get up again to turn to others to help and remind them.

So you see God does care and love you. Suffering is just one of the main ways in this life you and I come to know God and our need for Him.  As it is written; “What man does for evil, God uses for Good”.  We can’t lose.

So the next time you see or experience some tragedy take heart God will be there with you and not forsake you.  He comforts the broken hearted.