Job is an amazingly contemporary book. The words of an anonymous Hebrew writer living in a confusing, painful time give voice to our spirits today.
Lingering with the passages above, you can find three things to remember when you are facing a grueling situation that may appear utterly hopeless.
Be honest. Job trusted his relationship with God enough to let God have it with both barrels. A child trusts a relationship with a parent by instinctively, honestly expressing what’s on their mind and heart. Can our prayers to God reflect anything less? Indeed, giving voice to our pain, even to the point of accusing God of being unjust, is an act of faith.
Be persistent. There’s a reason the book of Job is forty-two chapters. Hopelessness, grief, depression don’t go away overnight. Fragments of them may linger a lifetime. But prayer isn’t a one-and-done. It’s an ongoing conversation of honesty between child and parent, created and Creator.
Be hopeful–looking. Hope ultimately comes from ongoing honesty and persistence. It’s what happens as you act like the persistent widow pestering a judge (Luke 18:1-8). In the process, very slowly, our spiritual character shifts and changes. As Helen Keller once stated, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Perhaps Job senses such hope for a brightening future when he says, “Still I’m not annihilated by darkness; [God] has hidden deep darkness from me.”
If you are reading this, you have a hope that comes from knowing that God will not only hide deep darkness from you, but will, in a yet unknown time, provide the light you need.
Be honest, persistent, and hopeful-looking.