Job in the Bible has become the quintessential example of the sufferer in despair--and that's exactly why we tend to avoid his book. It opens up the possibility of extreme, intense, prolonged suffering for the godly person. But over the next few weeks, we're going to look at Job's suffering from a different angle: we're going to see how Jesus fits into his story.
Job was an extraordinary man, but he also experienced extraordinary problems: in one fell swoop, all of his children were killed, his livestock was seized, his property was destroyed, and his health was compromised (see Job 1-2). No one deserved suffering less than Job--God called him the best there is (see Job 1:8; 2:3)--but no one or very few have experienced more suffering than him. And that's what bothers us: this righteous, godly man did everything right, and he still suffered.
And that's what caused him to wrestle with all sorts of questions: How can anyone be made righteous before God (see Job 9:2)? How do you live in a visible world while believing in a God you never see (see Job 23:3, 8-9)? And what happens after death (see Job 14:14)?
Job got no adequate answers from his wife or his three "friends." He didn't even get satisfactory answers from God. In fact, it's not until we get to the New Testament that his questions are resolved.
And the answers are all found in Jesus Christ. How can a man be righteous before God? Through the death of Jesus; as Paul will write, "By one Man's obedience many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19). The problem of the invisible God is answered in the incarnation of Jesus: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). And the issue of death and immortality is answered in Jesus' resurrection: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25). It's all answered in Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you're struggling with an issue, some point of theology you don't quite understand. Or maybe you're facing the trial of your life and you have questions just like Job. I encourage you to do the first thing first: come to Christ. Scripture presents Him as the one in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found (see Colossians 2:3). The perplexities we deal with are given full resolve in Him. So start by coming to Him. As we look at Job's questions over the coming weeks, we'll see how Jesus is truly the ultimate answer.