MingTeck woke up with a severe headache and thought it was another migraine. But when he got out of bed, he collapsed onto the floor. He was admitted to the hospital where the doctors informed him he’d had a stroke. After four months of rehabilitation, he recovered his ability to think and talk but still walks with a painful limp. He often struggles with despair, but he finds great comfort from the book of Job.
Job lost all his wealth and his children overnight. Despite the harrowing news, he at first looked to God in hope and praised Him for being the source of everything. He acknowledged God’s sovereign hand even in times of calamity (Job 1:21). We marvel at his strong faith, but Job also struggled with despair. After he lost his health too (2:7), he cursed the day he was born (3:1). He was honest with his friends and God about his pain. Eventually, however, he came to accept that both good and bad come from God’s hand (13:15; 19:25–27).
In our sufferings, we too may find ourselves vacillating between despair and hope, doubt and faith. God doesn’t require us to be dauntless in the face of adversity but instead invites us to come to Him with our questions. Though our faith may fail at times, we can trust God to always be faithful.
Dear Father, when doubts and fears overwhelm me, help me remember I’m precious in Your sight. You’re always in control, and You care for me.
Job’s story, even with its extremities of loss and suffering, is an honest presentation of life in a broken world. We face opposition both spiritual (Satan) and human (Job’s wife and friends). We experience seasons of fullness (Job 1:1–3) and extended times of great loss (chs. 1–2). We endure heartache related to those we love (1:18–19) as well as trials related to our own health (2:7). Job’s trials were so comprehensive that they touched almost every area of human suffering, and his responses were also completely human. At times, Job expressed extraordinary faith and trust in God (1:20–22), and at other times he questioned the Creator’s seeming lack of care in his struggles (30:20–24). This roller-coaster of spiritual and emotional turmoil reminds us of life’s realities—realities in which God calls us to rest in Him (chs. 38–41), even when we don’t understand what’s happening to us.