Hope in Self, or God? (III)

Given our human make-up, it takes a lot to break us of our hope in our Self. We think we can handle life, avoid disaster, and that we deserve blessing. Only when Job loses it all, does he come to terms with reality, a reality which includes losses as well as blessings. He assumes because he’s innocent, he shouldn’t suffer. God, he believes, owes him an explanation. At times we also feel that way.

When the Almighty does speak in chapter 38, however, Job learns lessons which shift his hope. Although God shows he cares about Job in that he personally responds to Job’s pleas, he puts Job’s suffering into a broader context. In nature, death persists alongside birth, and chaos (Leviathan) continues along with order. Humans control very little of life.

At first speechless, Job then “repents” or retracts his lawsuit, in “dust and ashes,” i.e., in human mortality. He thereby acknowledges God as too big for him to prove “wrong.” In contrast to what he has “heard” of God (i.e., second hand), Job now “sees” God face to face. Who he sees brings him to his knees to redirect his hope from himself to the Living God.

Where is the object of your hope?


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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