I’m fascinated by the story of Job. In one day, he loses everything he owns—including his family—except for a wife he could have done without. As if that isn’t enough pain, he then gets so sick and scarred that his friends don’t even recognize him.
In the midst of this disaster, he makes a statement about God that makes your hair stand every time you read it. In Job 13:14 he says: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” How do you become the kind of Christian who hopes in God no matter what?
I see a pattern to the life and thinking of this man Job that I want to get down for the day I need it. Problems show up in my life unannounced. I want to learn to handle them in the same way Job did. Here are some basic steps from the example of Job to help you hope in God no matter what is going on in your life.
1. Build a history with God. Job knew God. He’d had a lifetime with Him. Though he didn’t understand what was happening in his life, he could put his trust in the Lord and in his past experience with God. It was Job’s history with the Lord that allowed him to say: “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Are you building a history with the Lord?
2. Rest in Knowing God’s character. Job 10:12 says “You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.” God’s care? Job had just lost everything. How could he think about God’s care in his great crisis of loss and disaster? Job’s secret was that he understood that joy in life does not rest in present circumstances but in the goodness of God. Do you get it, too?
3. Believe in God’s ability. Job knew that God can do anything! He specializes in things thought impossible. He does the things others cannot do. Job testifies to that when he says: “[God] who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number.” Do you believe God can do anything?
4. Refuse to settle for a limited perspective. Just because you don’t see God at work doesn’t mean He is not working on your behalf. Don’t limit your vision to what you can see. God is at work all the time. In Job 9:11 it says, “Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him.” God is fighting for you even now!
5. Quiet the naysayers. Finally, in Job 13:4–5, Job tells his friends: “worthless physicians are you all. Oh that you would keep silent . . .” Don’t you love those friends who always see the negative in any situation? They are quick to point out your problems and slow to hand out compliments. Eventually, there will come a time and a place for you to tell those folks to quiet down. Will you do it?
Hey—you can be the kind of Christian who hopes in God no matter what. Are you going through a difficult season? Do you think you can apply these principles to your life today and find joy in the presence of the Savior?