Hope in the Thistles & Thorns

As a young teenager, I loved reading about different Greek mythologies, but I noticed that many of these stories were incredibly tragic. One story in particular that comes to mind is the story of Atlas, who was a Titan cursed to hold up the sky for all eternity. I think many of us could relate to Atlas, especially when we go through times of suffering and we feel like the weight of the world is literally on our shoulders.

When we go through such agonizing times, it is so easy to drown in the abyss of the darkness that surrounds us to the point that we get inundated by feelings of sadness, helplessness, and loss.

As believers, that is not how we should respond.

If we look at the life of Job, we see how he essentially lost everything important in his life. Job’s friends kept telling him that God was punishing him for his sins, but instead of wallowing in self pity or even doubting God, Job decided to trust in the Lord.

“For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? If a man dies, shall he live again?… All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come. | Job 14: 7-10, 14

Even though Job’s life on earth was full of tragedy, he clung to the hope of a life past death! Isn’t that incredible? He was surrounded by the destruction of his livelihood, his family, and even his friendships, yet he continued to believe in something much greater than what could be achieved or even seen in this world. If that doesn’t blow you away, you will be amazed by this statement of faith:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! | Job 19:25-27

Job believed not only in a personal Redeemer but that he would also see Him face to face standing on earth in the last days. Job didn’t have the luxury of having the Bible filled with God’s promises, about God’s covenants to His people, or even about Christ or the Gospel. Despite all of that, Job still believed God would come through and that He would send a Redeemer who would come to save the world.

The difference between Job and the modern day believer:

we KNOW our Redeemer has already come.

We have a completed Bible with His promise that Christ has gone to prepare a place for us. God has revealed through His Word that Christ will indeed come a second time as the Supreme Ruler who will completely exterminate sin, death, and the devil for all eternity.

In the midst of the pain, cling to the hope
that He will never leave you or forsake you!

You have no idea how blessed we are to have such an incredible assurance in Christ. Those of you who feel as if you always draw the short straw while others seem to breeze through life without a worry, remember this:

for those who do not know the Lord
as their personal Savior,
this life is as good as it will ever be.

For those who are believers, this life is as bad as it will be, and the best is yet to come – when we are face to face with our God and Redeemer.

We hope for our true home where there will be no more pain, tears, or suffering. We hope for eternity in paradise. When you are going through times of suffering in your life,

trust in what God has promised.

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