Job asked it from the depths of his heart. “How should man be just with God?” Job 9:2

All Job’s acquaintances (Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar) have accused Job of being “not right” with God.

Of having blatant sin in his life.

Of experiencing such trauma (tragedy after tragedy) solely because of hypocrisy, unconfessed iniquity in his life. Apparently “tons” of it!

Later, Job (with a glimmer of hope) proclaims: “Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.” Job 13:8, in the Patriarch’s reply to Zophar.

“Justified,” in Hebrew “tzsadaq,” means “right” with God, “straight” (not crooked) in the Lord’s Eyes. “Cleared” of charges of any wrong!

It’s interesting that the man who suffered so much (the Old Testament’s supreme “sufferer”) asks this question repeatedly, inquiring about being “justified.”


“How should man be just with God?”

In the New Testament, the answer.

To be “justified,” one must know Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” Romans 3:24-25

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith.” Romans 3:28

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:9

“Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1st Corinthians 6:11

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” Galatians 2:16

“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7

Anyone can now know the answer to Job’s penetrating question!

Anyone who trusts, believes the Bible.

But notice something.

Every verse I’ve used (New Testament) is from the pen of the Apostle Paul!

He is the man whom the Holy Spirit used to answer … “How should man be just with God?”

And who is Paul?

Get this!

He is the greatest human “sufferer” in the New Testament! (Outside of Jesus …Who is Very God of Very God! God the Son, God come to earth! Not merely a human!)


The … Old Testament prototype of suffering (Job) … asks about being “justified.”

Then the … New Testament prototype of suffering (Paul) … answers the question (multiple times) about being “justified!”

Maybe “hurting” brings us closer to God, to wanting to be “right” with him!

And guess what … the answer to the dilemma of justification (How can man be right, straight in God’s Eyes?) is found in … The Innocent Sufferer named Jesus!

In His Death on Calvary!

In His shed Blood!

In His vicarious Death!

Maybe “suffering” (after all) has a ministry, particularly in the area of teaching us our need for being in harmony with Almighty God!

Job (as he suffered) asked the question.

Paul (as he suffered) ventured the answer.

JESUS (as he suffered) made it possibleRIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD!


— Dr. Mike Bagwell

Maybe suffering “sensitizes” us to the great issues of life. Psalm 119:71, its writer, certainly agrees. Here he is admitting to God: It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”