Introduction: Do you have difficulty understanding God? We have
learned in past lessons in this series that a primary reason we
suffer is that Satan sends problems our way in the hope that we
will reject God. Satan wants to cause separation from God. If you
don’t understand someone, does that cause you to trust them less?
The answer is likely “yes” for most people. If that is true, does
God want us to understand Him? God compares Himself to a loving
father. If you had a loving father, does that help you to better
understand God? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible to learn

I. Job

A. Read Job 1:1 and Job 1:8-11. We studied these verses
recently, so this is a review. Why did Job experience
the suffering that followed? (Not because of any
character defects. Job was God’s example of a faithful
servant. Satan wanted to separate Job and God.)

B. Read Job 31:35-37. What is Job asking God to give him?
(An indictment listing what he has done wrong.)

1. What would Job do with that statement of charges?
(He would “give … an account” of his actions. He
would defend on the basis that he has done nothing
that would warrant this kind of suffering.)

a. Is Job asserting that God is unfair? That he
has been treated unfairly? (I think that is a
reasonable conclusion. Job wants a trial
where he can defend himself.)

C. Read Job 38:1-3. Has God decided to give Job the trial
that he so desperately wants? (If I were Job I would
rejoice in these words from God. Recall that previously
he could not even find God so that he could demand a

D. Read Job 38:4-11. What kind of trial is this? Is Job
being questioned about his actions?

1. Why are the actions of God relevant? Is God on

E. God continues with this same line of questioning
through chapter 40 of Job. Read Job 40:1-2. When God
asks this question, is He calling Job “a faultfinder?”
(Yes. God views this as Job challenging Him.)

F. Read Job 40:3-5. How does Job react to God pointing out
that Job is challenging Him? (Job says that he will
cover his mouth! No more challenges from him.)

G. From this point on God continues to ask a series of
questions the point of which is to show that God is God
and Job is not. Read Job 42:1-6. How would you
summarize Job’s response to God? (He admits that he is
ignorant. He does not understand. Job despises himself
and he repents.)

H. Read Job 42:10-11. God restores Job. After that Job’s
friends and family who said Job was suffering because
he was sinful paid him money. Was that a sign that they
repented of their charges? (I tend to think they were
saying that they were sorry for not supporting Job when
he was suffering.)

1. Put yourself in Job’s place. How would you explain
what happened to you? (Job has no idea. The lesson
he learned from God is that God is God and he is

2. Would you conclude from this that God is neither
understandable nor predictable? If we think we
should be able to understand Him we will be
disappointed? (Open your eyes! Job never saw the
“big picture,” he never knew why he suffered. But
God gave us the book of Job. It is thought to be
one of the earliest books of Bible. God wants each
and every one of us to see exactly why Job

a. With your eyes wide open, what should you
conclude about whether God is understandable
and predictable? (We need to agree on a
baseline that we are ignorant of the bigger
picture. We need to trust God because He is
God and we are not. But, far from thinking
that God is some sort of mystery that we can
never understand or predict, God gives us
this story to explain to us what I see as the
major reason for suffering – Satan wanted to
separate Job from God. Job remained faithful
which allowed God to use Job’s situation to
bring glory to Himself and understanding to
every follower of God since then.)

II. Habakkuk

A. Read Habakkuk 1:1-2. What is Habakkuk’s first complaint
to God? (That God is not hearing him.)

B. Look at the last half of Habakkuk 1:2. How has his
complaint changed? (Now he believes that God is
hearing, the problem is that God is not saving him.)

C. Read Habakkuk 1:3-4. Habakkuk explains why he needs to
have God intervene. What is that reason? (The law of
the country is not working. Justice is not to be had in
the local courts. He needs divine justice. The problem
is that God is aware of the destruction and violence
but is not doing anything.)

D. Read Habakkuk 1:5. Is God listening? Is God doing

1. Why does God say that He has not shared what He is
doing with Habakkuk? (Habakkuk would not believe
God’s plan of action.)

2. Do you see a parallel to Job’s situation?

E. Read Habakkuk 1:6-7. Who are these Chaldeans who are
bringing justice? (They are the bad guys. They are not
God’s people. They are the Babylonians.)

F. Read Habakkuk 1:12. Is this why God says that Habakkuk
would not believe God’s plan? Bad people are going to
invade Judah.)

1. How does Habakkuk describe the coming suffering of
Judah? (He call it “judgment” and “reproof.”)

a. Is God refining His people with suffering?

G. Read Habakkuk 1:13. Was God right that Habakkuk would
not believe God’s plan? (Yes. Habakkuk wants to know
how a pure God would use evil people to punish the
people of Judah? The Babylonians are worse than what
is going on in Judah! Habakkuk asks, “How is this

H. Read Habakkuk 2:2-4. God asks Habakkuk to write down
what God has said will be the cure for injustice in the
land. What does God ask of His people? (In times of
suffering we should live by faith in God. We should
trust God.)

1. How does that fit our prior discussions about
suffering? (Satan brings suffering to separate us
from God. God says “keep the faith.” Don’t succumb
to Satan’s goals.)

I. Let’s move to the end of Habakkuk and see how all of
this works out. Read Habakkuk 3:17-19. Recall that
Habakkuk started off questioning God. What is his
attitude at the end? (Despite things being seriously
amiss, Habakkuk keeps the faith by trusting and
praising God.)

III. Discipline

A. Read Hebrews 12:1-2. Who is this great cloud of
witnesses? (This follows Hebrews 11, the faith chapter.
It describes followers of God who did not fully receive
the promises of God while they lived. They looked
forward to heaven. They are our witnesses.)

B. Read Hebrews 12:3-4. Who are we to think about when we
suffer? (Jesus. The writer of Hebrews tells us that
unlike Jesus, we have not been painfully killed by our

1. Note that the text says that we are struggling
against sin. Who does that tell us sends
suffering? (Satan.)

C. Read Hebrews 12:5-6. It looks like we have finally
arrived at the concept that I have been denying – that
suffering comes from God in order to refine us. Is that
how you understand verses 5-6?

1. Notice that the writer of Hebrews has just
compared our suffering to that of Jesus. Did Jesus
get refined by suffering?

D. Read Job 5:17. Does this also tell us that we are
disciplined by God to improve us?

1. Who is speaking in Job 5:17? (It is Eliphaz (see
Job 4:1), one of Job’s “friends” who is arguing
that Job needs to repent.)

a. Was Eliphaz right? (We know from the
beginning of the book of Job that he did not
need to repent.)

E. Read Job 42:7. Wait a minute! What is God saying about
what Eliphaz has said to Job? (God reproves Eliphaz
because “you have not spoken of Me what is right.”)

1. Can you explain why Eliphaz is reproved for saying
the very thing that the writer of Hebrews tells us
– that suffering comes to refine us?

F. Clearly, we need to explore this more. Read Proverbs
3:11-12. This is the source for Hebrews 12:5-6. We know
that because Hebrews 12:5 specifically refers to a
prior “exhortation.” Do you think that loving parents
would cause their children to suffer? (Since Hebrews 12
quotes Proverbs 3 it is logically limited by the
original statement. No loving father or mother would
impose on their child what happened to Job or Jesus.
Hebrews cannot be talking about that kind of suffering
or some of the suffering described in Hebrews 11.
Instead, we are looking at the way the Ten Commandments
operate. God says “Don’t do this,” so that our lives
will be better. If we ignore what God says, then we get
in trouble and we suffer. That is consistent with how
our loving fathers operate.)

G. Read Hebrews 12:11-13. Have you had a problem with how
you walk? If you do not get it fixed, it gets worse,
right? And, it adversely affects other parts of the
body. What does this tell us about God’s goal for us?
(He says walk correctly so that you do not get worse.
Do not compound the problem.)

H. Friend, I hope you agree that the Bible teaches that
suffering comes from Satan and sin. Its purpose is to
harm, not improve, our relationship with God. However,
there is a natural teaching result when we disobey God.
We are refined (hopefully) to understand that we do not
want to make that mistake again. Will you take this
positive view of God?

IV. Next week: Seeing the Invisible

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from
the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ),
copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News
Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested
answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive
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guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.