A Living Hope

Leah DiPascal

Day: 17 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty

Today’s Reading : Job 17

Job 17:13-15 (NIV) If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness, if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’ where then is my hope—who can see any hope for me?”

As I read the verses of Job 17, my heart aches for Job. I wish I could step back in time for a day or two – just to sit with Job, tend to his wounds, fix him some home cooked meals and tell him about Jesus.

Job's words are filled with hopelessness. The pain seems to pierce straight through his brittle, sore-skinned surface and go straight to his anguished soul and shattered spirit. As Job looked to the future, he couldn't see any restored days up ahead. Only visions of the grave that marked the end of his life. His words are haunting:

"My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me…If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness, if I say to corruption, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother' or 'My sister,' where then is my hope—who can see any hope for me?" (Job 17:1, 13-15)

I can't imagine the magnitude of brokenness Job was experiencing, nor do I ever want to. It must have been suffocating to wake up every morning and face the depth and width of his despair and physical pain, seeing no tangible signs of life getting better. No word from God. Hope had faded into hopelessness as days slowly turned into weeks, and maybe even months.

Hopelessness. It's one of Satan's most destructive tools in his bag of tricks. He uses it to try and slowly strip away the best parts of us, just like he did to Job. Convincing him that life from that point on was nothing more than a downward spiral which ended in darkness.

I noticed that Job, even on that dark day of hopelessness, still cried out to God, asking for assurance and a pledge of security. (Job 17:3) It's as if a tiny shoot of hope pushed its way through the cracks of the concrete of hopelessness. And Job once again believed that God was good and would come through for him.

Job was raw and real with his emotional words. He held nothing back, allowing the floodgates of his darkest thoughts to spill out of his mouth like a river before his Maker. And God let Job speak – He didn't silence, shame or correct him. God let Job express what was on his heart. And although God chose to remain silent, His mercy, love and compassion were powerfully active.

Just like Job, we too can cry out to God in our time of need. On those days when we feel hopeless, He is our source of strength and security. God wants us to be real and honest with Him, even with our rawest emotions. But we must remember to always remain reverent and honorable to Him in the process. He will not forsake us or shame us. (Hebrews 13:5b, Psalm 25:3a) He will comfort and shower us with His compassion. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Job may not have had access to God's written Word, but we do. God's promises of hope and assurance are always available to us, even in the seasons of life when our hope is strained by our sufferings and hopelessness is knocking at the door of our heart.

Because of Jesus, we can always approach God's throne of grace with a confident hope, knowing that we will receive His mercy and grace to help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Jesus is our living hope and in Him we have the joy of eternal security and salvation.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, this world doesn't give me much hope to hold onto, but You certainly do! You provide all the hope I need to face each day with assurance. And I'm so grateful I can be vulnerable and share my most intimate thoughts with You, thoughts that I wouldn't share with anyone else. Thank You for the grace, mercy and abundant love You extend to me, every moment of every day. In Jesus' name, amen.

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