“Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn. My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.
Life Is Hard, Even for Christians
Job’s life was not going well. Not that long ago, he had owned thousands of head of livestock. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was considered the greatest man among all the people of the east. But now, all that was gone. In one day, Job lost everything: his wealth, his children, everything. Then, to make a horrific situation even worse, Job was struck with an incredibly painful, disfiguring disease. His pain was so great that all he could do was sit in an ash heap and scrape the boils that covered his body from head to toe with a piece of broken pottery.
No matter how hard Job tried, he could not find a reason for the suffering he was experiencing. It all seemed so pointless, so unjust. He had faithfully followed God throughout his life and yet God had allowed all this to happen to him. Look at him! He’s worn out like a slave. Even though he’s exhausted, he can’t sleep. He is covered in scabs and his skin oozes. Why shouldn’t he just give up and recognize that there is nothing worth living for? So, why should he hold out any hope for anything good?
Have you ever felt like Job? Do his words sound familiar to you? We all have had times when we’ve suffered for reasons that we could not understand. Maybe we weren’t suffering because we did something wrong. No, the pain just came and would not go away. We worked hard to fix one problem only to have three more pop up. We lay down at night exhausted, only to toss and turn, and stare at the clock until dawn. Perhaps we even reached the point that Job reached and decided not to expect that anything good would ever come our way again.
If you ever suffered like that, know this. Ever since sin entered this world, life has been hard, even for Christians. Being a child of God does not guarantee that your life will always be easy. Until the Lord takes us home to heaven that is. We, like Job, will continue to labor and grow weary, and experience troubled nights and months of futility.
But that doesn’t mean that we have no hope. Job was speaking out of the depths of his suffering. Later, as he focused his attention not on his suffering but on God and his promises, he exclaimed, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (See Job 19:25-26.)
Jesus is your Redeemer who lives. He died and rose again for you. Because of him and what he has done, you always have hope. No matter what you may suffer, keep your eyes focused on him, knowing that your living Redeemer loves you and will never leave you. Nothing can separate you from him and soon you will see him yourself. How our hearts long within us!
Dear Redeemer, when life is hard and seems without hope, help me to find my hope and help in you. Amen.
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