Forthright Magazine

Moving Beyond “Why Me?”

When confronted by suffering or trouble, we’ve all asked, “Why me?” Wallowing in “why me” consumes massive amounts of time and energy. Fortunately, a healthier response exists.

The book of Job can assist us to move beyond asking why. In spite of Job and his friends spending about 30 chapters wrangling over why he was suffering, this epic story makes it clear that answering the why question is not what is most important. Consider what we observe.

The opening chapters explain exactly why Job suffers. We, the readers, know the reason. Satan desires to prove that Job serves God for self-serving purposes. In other words, Satan asserts Job’s worship is not authentic. God allows Satan to act maliciously … in order to vindicate Job’s sincerity.

Thus we would expect that when God finally addresses Job that God would explain Satan’s role behind Job’s suffering. Yet, God does not! As far as the book reveals, Job never knows why! Knowing the why is not what matters most. So where should our energies be focused? Job delivers.

The bigger question is, what will Job do when life goes sideways and troubles crush him? Will Job curse God? Will he remain devoted to God?

God’s word reveals a myriad different reasons why someone may suffer. Resolving the answer of why’s murkiness, if it is even possible, is not what matters.

What matters is: in view of life’s challenges and suffering, what are we going to do? Will we allow crises to drive us away from God or curse God? Or will we determine that God is worthy of devotion? Will we go so far as to offer thanksgiving amidst our petitions for relief?

Disappointment and suffering can arise from a great many sources. In many cases we may never know why. We can, however, know how to live going forward in the midst of life’s problems. We can spend our time and energy profitably. Drawing closer to God is always the right starting place.


Barry Newton
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