Messianic Rabbi: What Happens When the Righteous Suffer

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Asher Intrater

There are deep revelations in the book of Job concerning spiritual warfare, the mystery of the church (Ekklesia), the suffering of Jesus (Yeshua), etc. Its most basic message, however, has to do with what happens when the righteous suffer.

Here are a few lessons for us:

  1. Bad things — Sometimes bad things do happen to good people.
  2. Not their fault — The suffering that happens to good people is not because they have sinned. It’s not their fault.
  3. Attack of Satan — The direct cause of the suffering of good people is the attack of demonic forces, who because of evil intentions are out to destroy the righteous.
  4. God in control — Despite the attacks and suffering, God is still in control over the big picture and can turn everything to His own purposes. That takes some of the pressure off.
  5. Just don’t know — Often we don’t know and can’t know what the reasons are for why righteous people suffer. Despite theological mumbo-jumbo and prophetic mysticism, there are times when the reasons are simply not known. Sometimes we go around and around in our minds, asking, “Why?” That’s just a waste of time and energy.
  6. Dark thoughts — During the period of suffering, the person will often struggle with thoughts of unbelief, depression, frustration, even suicide—tending to blame God even when he knows that God is not at fault. It comes with the territory.
  7. No friends — During this time, friends are unable to help. There is no good advice. Theological counsel of other believers usually makes the situation worse.
  8. Stand up — When God finally revealed Himself to Job, He told him, “Stand up and gird yourself like a man” (Job 38:3; 40:7). God gave no explanation and no sympathy. He calls us to cut the unbelief, stop the negative talk and stand up to Him as a covenant partner. This may sound hard but it is actually tremendously encouraging. Even in the worse circumstances—like Abraham before the destruction of Sodom (Gen. 18), Moses at the Red Sea (Exod. 14:15) or David after the sin of the census (2 Sam. 24), God treats us as covenant partners with full authority.
  9. Double blessing — In the end of course, God blessed Job with twice as much as he had before. That’s His purpose. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended of the Lord (James 5:11). So, He will do for us, if we persevere with faith and patience to the end.
  10. Blessings on friends — With his restored blessings, Job also blessed his friends around him, even the ones who had been unfaithful. {eoa}

For the original article, visit ritg.org.

Asher Intrater serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the church. He is founder of Revive Israel five-fold ministry team and oversees Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv.

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