Summary: During a time of adversity, pain and darkness, Job speaks words like jewels of diamonds and apples of gold. In the life of Job we can find hope.
Finding Hope in times of Adversity
During a time of adversity, pain and darkness, Job speaks words like jewels of diamonds and apples of gold: “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.” (Job 19:25-26)
How do you find hope in times of adversity? Where do you turn? What do you do? In the life of Job we find how we can find hope. Job helps us to keep life in proper perspective.
Job started out with riches and had vast wealth. He was the Bill Gates of his day. In one day Job lost everything and became like a homeless person, beaten down by Satan, and yet Job didn’t give up. Job 1:20-22, When Job heard all that happened to his family, the loss of his thousands of sheep, thousands of camels, hundreds of oxen, hundreds of donkeys, and his servants: “Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground in worship:
Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
Naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God’s name is ever blessed.
Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.” (The Message)
Are you looking for hope? Look to the life of Job. Was Job a person of history? Sure he was. James 5:11 makes reference to Job as a real person in history, “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
I. Job affirmed his faith in a heavenly Redeemer.
Job 19:25 – “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.”
It took Job awhile to come to his assurance in a kinsman redeemer. When inflicted with painful skin ulcers he went into a pit of despair. Job 3:1-2, Job regrets the fact that he was born. “After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: ‘May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!”
Job 14:12-14 Job expresses his doubts about his future and for a time experiences hopelessness. He responds to the smear campaign of his tormentors and seems to give in to their analysis: “But men and women? They die and stay dead. They breathe their last, and that’s it. Like lakes and rivers that have dried up, parched reminders of what once was. So mortals lie down and never get up gain – never. Why don’t you just bury me alive, get me out of the way until your anger cools? But don’t leave me there! Set a date when you’ll se me again. If we humans die, will we live again? That’s my question. All though these difficult days I keep hoping, waiting for the final change – the resurrection.” (The Message)
The first response we often have to sickness and death is a question: “Why did God allow this to happen to me?” Through a time of quietly waiting on God we grab hold of faith and realize that God is still with us and we have hope. It is that hope that gets us through the night. It is hope that gives us the assurance that we are not forever boxed in with no way to escape.
In his entire questioning Job does not blame God for his pain and afflictions.
Job 19:25 Job has emerged from his feelings of hopelessness and climbs out of his pit of despair with renewed faith. He sings out: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.”
The office of the redeemer was that of the closest relative. It was the redeemer’s responsibility to restore the fortune, liberty, and name of his relative, when necessary to correct injustices and avenge any hurts that came to his relative. Job was confident that although all earthly relatives disowned him, his heavenly kinsman redeemer would speak on his behalf and have the last word.
The words of Job in verse 25-26 still echo around the world today in Handel’s Magnum Opus – the Messiah, Handel quotes Job 19:25-26 and set the words to music: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
Job came out of his fog of doubt and despair and clearly saw that God was still with him. He renewed his hope in the God of all creation. He knew that he would see God. Job affirmed the New Testament teaching that Jesus lives and will come again.