I guess if I was to answer offthe top of my own understanding and giving into account the general knowledgeof scripture that I have, I would argue that believing and stating ‘why do therighteous suffer?’, we begin to believe and comprehend in the theory ofsupremacy of man, but rather if I was to reinstate the question, I would flowalong the lines of ‘How can a Holy and just God, who knows all that I thoughtand would do today not kill me in my sleep last night?’, believing in thefullness of Christ and his supreme rulership and ownership of myself,regardless whether I am holy and righteous. Who am I to question the supremacyof God as the sovereign ruler. In my own opinion, I would state simply that Godcan do anything that he pleases and it would not diminish nor change who Godis, for he is immutable.
Whether I suffer because I was righteous, or sufferbecause I was unrighteous, the sun rises on the just and the unjust, God alsosends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous, so who am I to questionsovereignty of God? Just as he spoke to Job, But for the sake of the exercise,as to ‘why does the righteous suffer?’, I strongly believe that it’s notsomething we face and are caught off-guard, but rather it is something that hasbeen written and almost a pre-requisite to becoming a true believer in ChristJesus. “You, however, have followed my teaching,my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, andat Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,”1Quotedfrom apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul simply inflates the idea, that notonly has the recipient seen the suffering of the life of those who seek to livea ‘godly life’, but also to have notice that those who seek to live a godlylife must also face sufferings and persecutions just the apostle Paul had. In terms of the sufferings inwhich Job had found in the book of Job, it highlights beneficial aspects ofsuffering for Christ and remaining in the faith as you endure trials andtribulations. A common quote from scripture, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”2By this we see and interpret that God does not just punish the righteous nordoes he just punishes the unrighteous but he equally causes the sun to rise onboth, and sends rain on both recipients equally, but the only difference isthat the righteous will endure and conquer because God will not forsake us norwill he give us a burden we cannot bear. One of the many beneficialaspects of suffering for Christ or just suffering in general is that it will ‘develop one’s character’, in andthroughout the new testament you will see that ‘fiery trials’ are encounteredto purify us, “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothersand sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 becauseyou know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Letperseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, notlacking anything.”3Oncecoming to an understanding of who Job was and the man he was, and the type ofexposure he was exposed to in the presence of his friends and in front of God,you will come to notice that Job was although deemed a perfect and upright manaccording to the bible, not due to the fact that he was sinless before Jehovahbut rather he was seen or portrayed blameless in the presence of man. Inchapter 42 in the early parts of scripture from verses three to six, one willcome to notice the intensity of the pride and self-dependency hidden in thecompounds of Jobs heart. But through all the hardship in which Job endured, youwill see the restoration of a better Job. Credit to his perseverance towardsGod and his strong faith in the sovereignty of God. Secondly,to a certain extent, through suffering it makes us more dependent on God and Hisultimate will for our lives, it places God in a place where He is sovereign,and as believers we come to believe ‘come hell or high waters, we will continueto serve God in all His fullness’, it’s a more dependant trait in which when weface trials and situations that seem either painful or hard to overcome wewould run towards God for support as we are dependent on the author andfinisher of our faith. As a child is dependent on their parent, so shall we alsotrust in our heavenly Father.
So,in conclusion, I would state in fullness that although we may believe we aredeemed righteous and may come to believe that we are not to suffer as servantsof the highest, but we should also acknowledge the great men of the bible,apostle Paul, Peter, James, John etc. but not to forget the suffering of oursaviour Jesus Christ. Christ the spotless lamb of God, came and sufferedgreatly for people who were undeserving of his grace and mercy but ratherjustly deserving of the wrath and condemnation of God. Apostle Paul, one of thegreatest systematic theologians of all time, was also a picture of the ‘righteoussuffering’, 1 New Testament book of 2 Timothy3:10-12, English Standard Version2 New Testament book of Mathew 5:45,New International Version3 New Testament book of James 1:2-4,New International Version