What Gives Us Hope?

One of my friend’s children ended his life this week. After I called my friend to talk with him, to offer my sympathy, and to pray with him for his comfort and that of his family, I thought about what keeps us living. What gives us hope?

I think of Job. If anyone had reason to die, he did. In fact, he wanted to die. After he loses his many businesses, his employees, and his children, that’s all he wanted. “Perish the day on which I was born,” he says in chapter three. He devotes much of that chapter to curses on his life, by which he hopes to manipulate God into taking him. Like many, only death, he thinks, will relieve his suffering.

But Job doesn’t die! In spite of his disasters, his severe depression, and his cruel friends, he survives. He also improves. In the end, he thrives. How? I ask. I suggest two factors that give him, and perhaps us, hope.

First, he had reason to live. Because he knows he suffers unjustly, he needs to confront God for vindication. True, to force that confrontation expresses another attempt at manipulation. Nevertheless, it was enough, in connection with the second factor, to give him reason to live.

Look for that second factor next blog.

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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