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In my previous post I started a series meditating in the sufferings of Job and the lessons we can learn from his experience. We talked about how good people suffer, it doesn’t happen necessarily because they did something wrong.
Now, let’s look at another point to Job’s experience: he showed us how God expects us to handle suffering and difficult situations. Job is an example for us.
We’ve talked about suffering in the last posts, and whenever someone talks about suffering in the Bible, one has to mention Job.
You probably know Job’s story: God allowed the devil to destroy everything he owned and everyone he loved, even attack his body. He just didn’t allow him to die. In a short while, Job lost all his possessions, his family and his health.
But what was the point of such suffering? In fact, we can learn important lessons from the story of Job, and we will explore that in this post and in the next few posts that I am writing in this series.
First of all, I’d like to talk about one thing that many people still struggle with, which is when good people suffer.
When we read the New Testament, we see that suffering was a common topic. In those writings, people were encouraged to deal with suffering in a positive way.
If you read the first letter written by the apostle Peter, you will see that he talks about it a lot. I’ve talked about it before in this post. Paul has also written about handling suffering in several of his letters.
Suffering is a tough topic to write about. And I’ve been “stumbling” on the subject every now and then lately, so I’d like to write a few more words about it.
I’ve got to tell you, I am not the most experienced person when it comes to suffering, not at all. I’ve been through difficult situations, but now looking back, they don’t seem that big of a deal. Maybe that’s me, it is much easier for me to remember the good stuff than the bad.
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
When Peter wrote this letter, he intended to encourage the brothers and sisters in Christ. He wrote several recommendations, specially for those who were suffering.
Back then, the Christians were persecuted. In fact, there are still Christians all over the world today who are suffering and being persecuted because of their faith. If you want an example, check out this post I wrote about Helen Berhane.
This class is a preparation for the people who wants to work with them specially in the juvenile detention center, where they reach kids and try to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.
I learned about the reality of the children and teenagers there. Almost all of them come from broken homes, very poor families, and soon they get involved with drugs. It doesn’t take long until they start thinking that the traffic of drugs is their only option in life.
But there is another fact about them that I had no idea: the majority of them were abused in their childhood or early teens, by someone close to them or after they entered the “system”. I’m not talking about only sexual abuse, but also psychological or physical.