suffering-and-hope

Job Lost Hope

Job’s life was over –or so he thought. He often stated that it was over, that nothing good could ever come to him again. Several times he longed for death. He pleaded with God to kill him and release him from his agony.  He lost all hope.

But he didn’t know everything.

He did not see the beginning where Satan was allowed to do whatever he wanted to Job except kill him.

While facing the pain and turmoil, he did not fathom the end of the struggle where God blessed him and gave him long life.

He did not see the encouragement that his struggles provided to hundreds of millions of people who have encountered his story through history since his suffering.

He did not fathom the impact of these deep theological implications of sin and punishment that would help shape the world. His book has forced countless people to struggle with their own concepts of pain and suffering while teaching us humility, grace, and empathy with our fellow man.

Whatever you believe or know about the book of Job, his life was certainly one full of pain and sorrow at one point–so intense that it would be difficult to imagine anyone suffering more in life for such a length of time. His life seemed hopeless because he did not have the ability to see past it. (But he did develop that toward the end of his suffering.)

Are You The Same?

Your life may seem hopeless too. And (humbly) I suggest that you don’t know everything either. But you know the God who does. It reminds me of the great song.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
     To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
     On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
     The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
     In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
     Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shad’wing us and ours?
     Jesus has vanquished death and all its pow’rs.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
     And Jesus calls us to Heav’n’s perfect peace.

(Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr., 1875)

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