As we continue working through Job, we come to a question that everyone will have asked at some point in their life – why is this happening?
Perhaps the circumstances that led you to ask this question were simply the worst you could have faced, and if that is you I’m sorry you had to endure such a time. Maybe it was an accumulation of small things that got you down, maybe it was just something that happened that was so utterly confusing that you asked yourself why is this happening? In Job 2 we see this question being asked,
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job has received horrible news (1.13-19), responded in mourning and worship (1.20), expressed a wisdom and maturity that seems beyond most of us (1.21), and not blamed God for anything (1.22). From here, the Accuser is certain that if his health fails, Job will turn against the Lord (2.1-6). Job is afflicted with loathsome sores that are so bad he needs to scrape himself with broken pottery for relief (2.8).
Then, the question. Job’s wife clearly doesn’t understand her husband’s resolute faith and dedication to the Lord (perhaps the hardest thing for Job to deal with), and tells him to curse God and die.
When faced with life-changing circumstances, tragedies, heartache, loss, pain, distress, or tribulations, we would do well to answer the question of why is this happening with the words of Job here,
Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?
Job is not saying that God has afflicted him with evil, but that as the great and good things in our lives are gifts from God sent for our ultimate good, so too the circumstances that may seem to be for our ruin are actually contributing to this ultimate good (Romans 8.26-30). I like how this is phrased,
[When] adversity comes to us…we are wise to see that even in adversity, there may be a “gift” that we should accept.
This is not easy, this is not pleasant, and nobody seeks these situations out. Friends, they will come. Some things we will never know this side of eternity, and that is so hard for us, isn’t it. When they come, and when we ask why is this happening, let us turn to the Lord in faith and trust that there is Omniscient wisdom behind what is happening, there is a greater good, and even if we don’t know why until we see Him face to face, that what is happening in your life right now is showing God’s great love for you.