Doubt II

People who’ve experienced the recent horrific theater attack in Aurora, CO, may come to doubt God’s goodness. How can a good God let such things happen? We may entertain those doubts ourselves. We’ve lived through many horrors. At times, those acts of outrage also touch our personal lives. In the wake of the Aurora killings, health professionals expect a rise in depression and in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Religious leaders may also expect their people to express serious doubts about God’s benevolence.

As with many people, Job’s experience of suffering arouses intense doubt about God’s goodness. Through the prism of his exceptional tragedies, with five separate hostile images, Job envisions a God who attacks: the Archer, the Eye, the Lion, the Soldier, and the General. God the Archer pierces Job’s body with poison-tipped arrows (6:4). God the Spy (the Eye in the Sky) watches for any misstep (7:8). God the hungry Lion tears him limb from limb (16:9-10). God the Soldier viciously grabs him by the neck to crush him (16:12).  Like a city under siege, Job pictures himself besieged by God the General who surrounds him in his flimsy tent (19:11-12).

Like Job, people who’ve experienced traumatic loss can cast God’s image in a hostile light. It may take some time for them to grieve, to process their horrors, and to find support to survive. In the meantime, their trust in God’s goodness suffers, too.

Like Job’s doubt we can understand theirs.






About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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