Larry J. Waters, ‘Reflections on Suffering from the Book of Job’, Bibliotheca Sacra 154 (1997), 436-51.
A link to a pdf of this article can be found towards the bottom of this page.
He concludes with 16 points:
1. God is not to be limited to a preconceived notion of retribution/recompense theology.
2. Sin is not always the basis for suffering.
3. Accepting false tenets about suffering can cause one to blame and challenge God.
4. A retributive/recompensive theology distorts God’s ways and confines Him to human standards of interpretation.
5. Satan is behind this false concept and delights in using it to afflict the righteous.
6. The devil’s world is unfair and unjust, and even though people may misunderstand the ways of God and the “why’s” of life, having a personal relationship with God is the only way one can know justice.
7. Life is more than a series of absurdities and unexplainable pains that simply must be endured. Instead life for believers is linked with God’s unseen purpose.
8. People do not always know all the facts, nor is such knowledge necessary for living a life of faith.
9. God’s wisdom is above human wisdom.
10. God’s blessings are based solely on grace, not on a traditional, legalistic formula.
11. Suffering can be faced with faith and trust in a loving, gracious God even when there is no immediately satisfying logical or rational reason to do so.
12. God does allow suffering, pain, and even death, if they best serve His purposes.
13. Prosperity theology has no place in God’s grace plan.
14. Suffering can have a preventive purpose.
15. The greatest of saints struggle with the problem of undeserved suffering and will continue to do so.
16. Because God’s people are intimately related to Him, suffering is often specifically designed to glorify God in the unseen war with Satan.