Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
May 27 Scripture Selection: Job 10-12
Food for Thought: Job 10:1, 18, 19
“I hate my life.” “I wish I had never been born.” Job is not the only one to have ever uttered these pitiful words. While they may seem justifiable, it is not helpful to do as Job does here when he says, “I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.” Even more harmful is to remain stuck there in those words of misery, day after day, year after year. Yes, if you must, express them to someone in a position to help (not like Job’s so-called friends who never really offered any relief or practical solution), but all the better, look beyond your condition and begin to speak of hope for the future—even and especially when there appears to be none. (See Ps. 40 for David’s response under very difficult circumstances.)
The Bible presents several cases of people who for various reasons had lived lives of great suffering but were eventually given brand new lives when the Lord intervened. Joseph was thrown into a pit in the desert and then sold into slavery by his own brothers whose relationship with him had always been hostile (Gen. 37:23-28). Noemi, living in a strange land, found herself widowed and grieving not only the loss of her husband, but also the deaths of her two sons (which in those days meant great hardship in store for the widow) (Ruth 1:1-13). Consider also the four lepers and the inhabitants of Samaria who endured horrendous conditions as the Syrians besieged Samaria and planned to starve them out (II Kings 6, 7). And what about Mary Magdalene who had been constantly harassed by the seven demons who possessed her (Mark 16:9)? The man whom the Lord set free from a legion of demons was in an even worse state (Mark 5:1-15). The woman with the issue of blood was also quite miserable as she suffered from her physical condition and also from extreme poverty and isolation from her people for twelve long years (Mark 5:25-29).
They all had one thing in common: their situation changed completely, and their end was much better than their beginning. Dwelling on the severe conditions and painful past or present will not bring about change, but remembering the faithfulness of God and speaking about it will be most encouraging and begin to turn things around. The reference in Romans 4:17, 18 of the fulfillment of God’s promise to make Abraham a father of many nations reveals two very helpful keys. First, regarding God, it says, “(as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” Second, regarding Abraham’s part, it says in verse 18, “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, …” We, too, can do as God does. He calls the things that are not as though they were, and He speaks them into existence. And we can follow Abraham’s example, as well, and believe in hope, even when the circumstances do not appear at all hopeful, and give God a chance to do a great work in our lives.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):