A fourth scholarly friend is a younger one named Elihu who chimes in to try to make sense of Job’s circumstance. He reflects and then claims, “If they listen and obey God, they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives. All their years will be pleasant. But if they refuse to listen to him, they will be killed by the sword and die from lack of understanding.” This response follows a familiar line of reasoning: people sin, and God’s mercy is that He shows them their sins (even if it takes a drastic situation) so that they can repent and be blessed. This is not untrue.
However, not all suffering comes directly from sin. Job is an example of a righteous person suffering. The world is a place of deep affliction and anguish for many people and suffering is not always related to choices within the control of any one individual. Jesus tells us that we will have trials and tribulations but to take heart, for He has overcome the world. Hold tight to Him in the pain. Through Jesus we too can overcome the hindrances of even deep suffering.