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I wasn’t sure what to think about Bruce Almighty when it was first produced in 2003. My reservations were largely due to the crude humor and one sexual scene. However, the underlying theme of the film has caused me to use it as an illustration in several sermons. As I thought about preaching today’s final sermon in the Job series I returned once again to the film.
When the question of suffering arises how easy it is to think that a “good” human (like myself) could do a much better job running the universe than God is doing. One only need look at the evil that exists in the world and the horrific things that cause people pain to think this.
The book of Job opens another option. Perhaps we humans don’t know all the facts. None of the human characters in the story do. Neither Job, his wife, or his friends have any idea why Job is suffering. Only the reader knows because we’ve been given a peak behind the curtain into Heaven. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the heavenly glimpse given to the reader thus solves the problem of pain. (Aha! The reason there is suffering is because Satan and God are duking it out again!) Rather, we are given what we need to make sense of the story. We thus know from the beginning that Job is righteous and is not suffering because of sin. That sets the stage for the real drama to begin. Therefore, the other option is NOT figuring out why there is suffering. The other option is realizing that God is God and I am not.
After God asks Job the 70 questions at the end, this is Job’s conclusion. And it is in this fact that we must ultimately put our faith. I don’t have all the answers because I don’t even know the right questions to ask. Like Job, I don’t have enough information to even begin to run the universe. I’m simply going to have to trust God. And when suffering comes, I can at least find some measure of comfort in knowing that God’s one and only Son suffered on earth as well. I can trust a God like that, even if I don’t understand everything.