Sunday, 9 August 2009

Hope in Job

Hope is the very foundation of our belief as Christians, and our hope in God and in Christ is what gives us the courage to continue in our faith to the end, no matter what may come. The Bible contains the story of Job, a man who suffered exceedingly. His oxen and camels were stolen, his sheep were destroyed by fire, all his servants were killed, all his children were killed when a house collapsed on them, and then he suffered painful sores all over his body. The Bible records for us that Job exclaims in the midst of his suffering “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face” (Job 13:15). No matter what happens, Job intends to seek vindication from God and believes that he will receive it. His hope is anchored in the belief that God is just, and will surely do what is right.

Yet his hope goes beyond the knowledge that his God is just, demonstrated when he proclaims “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27). This is the ultimate hope that all of us who have been saved by grace share – we know our Redeemer lives, one day He will return to stand upon the earth, and we will see Him with our own eyes, whether we are still alive when this happens, or whether we will be resurrected to see it happen.

How amazing that tucked away in the book of Job is such a profound understanding, not only of the nature of God and man (man needs a redeemer, so must need saving from something, ie his sin and the punishment of that sin, and that God is the only One who can fulfil that redemptive purpose), but also of the second coming and the resurrection. If we can only hold onto this truth in the midst of all that this life may throw at us, as Job did, we will be among those who overcome.

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