If a Man Dies, Shall He Live Again? – Gospel in Life

If a Man Dies, Shall He Live Again?

Tim Keller |  January 20, 2008

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  • Suffering
Job 13:20-24; 14:7-17
RS 200-3


There’s nothing more inevitable in life than suffering, and there’s no book in the Bible, and maybe no work of world literature, that faces the issue of suffering with more realism, integrity, and wisdom than the book of Job.

In the middle part of the book, there are long speeches by Job, and most of the time he’s expressing confusion and anger. But there are two places where, in his wrestling, Job wrestles through to remarkable faith and insight. In this one, Job comes to grips with three resources we’re told Christians have in order to face suffering.

These three resources are to know 1) the comfort of the presence, 2) the challenge of the glory, and 3) the joy of the resurrection.

Understanding Job’s Story

Job’s story is a deep dive into the difficult topic of suffering, showing us how a faithful person can face despair. Job’s journey teaches us about three important Christian beliefs that can help us cope with pain: the comfort of God’s presence, the potential for growth in suffering, and the hope of resurrection.

1. The presence

When Job prays, he’s not just looking for answers. He’s longing for the reassurance that God is with him in his pain. Just like how friends and family can give us strength when we’re going through tough times, knowing Jesus is with us can comfort us in our struggles. Even when we can’t figure out why we’re suffering, God’s love and care can help us keep going.

2. The glory

Job compares suffering to pruning, a necessary process for plants to grow better. The Bible often connects going through tough times with becoming more genuine and mature. This idea might be hard to accept, but it shows how God can use our challenges to shape us into better people.

3. The resurrection

Job’s faith in resurrection, which comes from his belief in God’s limitless love, is both fascinating and mysterious. Resurrection isn’t just a comforting idea; it promises that things will be made right, that evil will be defeated, and that there will be even greater joy and glory in the end. The stories of Lazarus and Saint Paul show the power of resurrection, reminding us of Jesus’ selfless act to save us and giving us hope and joy even when we’re suffering.


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