The majesty of this season makes more acute the suffering many individuals experience. Perhaps it is problems with money, a relationship, or loneliness in the absence of friends and family members. However, regardless the cause, this wonderful season of hope reduces many individuals to a feeling of hopelessness.
Job, who feared God, was a man of complete integrity. Yet, he found himself in a spiral of hopelessness. In the space of a few days, he lost his children, his wealth, and his health. He was left with a sharp-tonged wife, four inquisitive friends, and most importantly, his faith. However, all was not lost.
Like many of us who face suffering, Job questioned why these things were happening; his wife told him to “Curse God and die.” His friends questioned Job about being punished because of a hidden sin committed long ago.
As result, Job was depressed, confused, and dismayed, by the turn of events in his life; but he never lost faith in God. In the midst of his trials and tribulations, Job exclaimed, “The Lord has given me everything I have and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 2:2).
The Gift of Hope
In his anguish, Job goes through a period of analytic self-examination. He debated with God, while wondering aloud why his faithfulness was rewarded with suffering. He complained and debated with God, demanding to know the reason for his present condition. Job cried out to God, “Don’t simply condemn me – tell me the charge you are bringing against me” (Job 10:2).
While Job lost the debate, he gained something much more important; it was the gift of hope. Job lamented that there was not a mediator to stand between himself and God. He explained, “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none….Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength” (Job 9: 32-35).
As God answered Job’s request, He also presents us with a gift of hope and a mediator, His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. He was given to us as an innocent baby to grow into a perfect man, destined to mediate on our behalf by suffering on the cross.
If you are suffering this holiday season, there is a gift of hope for you. It is the promise of a better life guaranteed by Jesus Christ himself, who commands us, “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14: 1-3 NLT)
Jesus suffered for us
Jesus mediated for us
Jesus is the gift of hope