25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 14:25-27)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtU1c5JZf0k (click here to hear Handel's "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth"- Lynne Dawson)
(Job and wife- Albrecht Durer 1500- 1503)
Job had faith in a living redeemer. God is, in the face of suffering our only hope. Evil (and suffering) is not just a Christian problem it is a human problem. Some (Hindu) pretend it isn't there (maya- suffering is an illusion or dream); Some teach us to embrace it but not be absorbed in suffering or love (Buddhism); Some teach us a kind of fatalism- that it is God's will to be submitted to (Islam); Some teach us to have a stiff upper lip (Stoicism); Some tell us to give up- that it is meaningless and chaotic (existentialism); Some say that evil is pain and we should do everything we can to alleviate it here for we don't know that there is any hope beyond death (secular humanism); Some tell us nothing except that God is not there to redeem us (atheism). These are human attempts at handling a common problem.
Christ tells us that we are to do all we can to alleviate suffering, and that there is indeed evil in the world. We are called to resist evil where we can, to pray against it. But our faith also tells us there is hope in the midst of suffering. The resurrection is a living symbol that not only does suffering end, but there is completion and joy on the other side of ultimate suffering. To know that we have a redeemer, that He is alive (not dead), and that we will see this rescuer with our own eyes is a great comfort to the human predicament. For me, this tells me that God is not only love, but is also powerful enough to help us- to ultimately redeem us from our suffering.
Prayer: Lord, life is so hard sometimes. Help me not to be blinded by suffering, but to always have hope that we will indeed see you as our Redeemer with our own eyes.