Bible Society of South Africa

Called to Care – Day 18

Facing suffering

Bible text(s)

1Human life is like forced army service,

like a life of hard manual labour,

2like slaves longing for cool shade;

like workers waiting for their pay.

3Month after month I have nothing to live for;

night after night brings me grief.

4When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag;

I toss all night and long for dawn.

5My body is full of worms;

it is covered with scabs;

pus runs out of my sores.

6My days pass by without hope,

pass faster than a weaver's shuttle.

7Remember, O God, my life is only a breath;

my happiness has already ended.

8You see me now, but never again.

If you look for me, I'll be gone.

9-10Like a cloud that fades and is gone,

people die and never return;

they are forgotten by all who knew them.

11No! I can't be quiet!

I am angry and bitter.

I have to speak.

12Why do you keep me under guard?

Do you think I am a sea monster?

13I lie down and try to rest;

I look for relief from my pain.

14But you — you terrify me with dreams;

you send me visions and nightmares

15until I would rather be strangled

than live in this miserable body.

16I give up; I am tired of living.

Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.

17Why are human beings so important to you?

Why pay attention to what they do?

18You inspect them every morning

and test them every minute.

19Won't you look away long enough

for me to swallow my spittle?

20Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?

Why use me for your target practice?

Am I so great a burden to you?

21Can't you ever forgive my sin?

Can't you pardon the wrong I do?

Soon I will be in my grave,

and I'll be gone when you look for me.

Job 7:1-1:21GNBOpen in Bible reader

God's Love in Christ Jesus

31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son — will he not also freely give us all things? 33Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right-hand side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36As the scripture says,

“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;

we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”

37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below — there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39GNBOpen in Bible reader

As caregiver, you are faced with suffering on a regular basis: the suffering of those you take care of, the pain of their loved ones, and even your own pain. We do not understand all the suffering we see and sometimes we feel like Job who cried out in his agony, trying to understand why such things were happening to him.

But the Word of God also offers us hope in suffering. In his Word, God teaches us the appropriate response to suffering.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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