Finding Hope in Troubled Times
For I know that my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25)
Living life in a fallen world can be tough, just ask Job. In the opening two chapters of Job, we read that God granted permission to the devil to destroy all Job’s property, kill all his children, and inflict him with painful boils from head to toe. Things had gotten so bad, in fact, that by the end of chapter two we’re told that his wife says to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Why don’t you just curse God and die?’ Of course, amazingly, Job says to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” Then we read, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Nevertheless, Job had gone through some horrendous experiences. The kind of experiences that would cause most of us to just roll over and die. Then to make matters worse, his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Elihu, do their best to convince Job he is being punished for his sin and if he would just repent of his wickedness, God would relent. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Thus, Job starts out trying to defend himself, but quickly begins to wear down under the pressure of false accusation and believing he has been unjustly treated by God. Yet Job never completely loses hope and never falls into complete despair because ultimately be keeps his eye not on this life, but on the next life. In Job 19 we see him reaching the pit of despair and says, “My breath is strange to my wife, and I am a stench to the children of my own mother. Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me. All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me” (vv.17-19). He feels the whole world is against him. Many of us have felt that way, when life is going so bad it seems our entire world is crashing down around us and no one is in our corner. Yet Job still sees there is hope. He says, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (vv.25-27). His hope comes not from looking at this life, but from keeping his eye on the next life. Job looks forward to a day when this life will be a distant memory and in his flesh he shall see God. We can learn a lot from Job.
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