Job 3

Job 3 Devotional
by Pastor David Groendyk

“His suffering was very great” were the last words we read in chapter 2. Chapter 3 shows us the depths of Job’s personal agony during this time. Many foolish scholars and commentators have tried to diagnose men and women in the Bible with various psychological conditions without having any real basis for doing so, yet given Job’s own testimony in this chapter, I think it’s fair to say that Job is struggling with depression. He’s cursing the day that he was born and even wishing that he would’ve never been born in the first place. Death and the grave are preferable to a life lived with this kind of tragedy. Scripture is not shy about the very wide range of mental and emotional experiences in life. The Psalms especially record some of the lowest lows (e.g., Psa. 88) and the highest highs (e.g., Psa. 150) that we can experience as humans and as Christians. And whether we’re on a peak or in a valley, Scripture always reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on God. When it appears as though darkness is closing in around us and there is no escape, our only hope is to look to God to help us make sense of our pain and misery. In his short devotional on this chapter, Michael Barrett is extremely helpful in summarizing what Scripture says about our suffering: “Trials help the believer bridge the gap between belief and experience by a deeper trust in God.” In our trials, we experience our utter weakness and powerlessness in life. We are creatures that must live by faith and trust in God regardless of what’s going on around us. Trials test that trust in God. Do we believe God is all-powerful? Do we believe he is good? Do we believe he loves us? Do we believe he’s caring for us? Even when we’re in the pit and doubting these truths, we must remember that God does see us and care for us.
Hebrews 2:17–18 and Hebrews 4:14–16 are two passages to go back to over and over again when we face this darkness. Both of these passages teach us that Jesus Christ suffered weaknesses and temptations. Here is a comfort from Scripture that no other religion can offer: our God is personally invested in the horrible sufferings and trials we experience in this life. Christ himself entered into our miserable estate by becoming human, and he knows what it’s like to suffer betrayal, loss, death, and the turned-away face of his heavenly Father. Even when we feel like nobody else can possibly know what we’re going through, God does. God understands. And isn’t it reassuring sometimes to simply know that someone understands? God does not sit in his heavenly throne high above us aloof and unfeeling. He knows what it’s like to be us. He knows the pain, but he also knows the perfect solution and the exact way that this trial is going to be worked for good. Let us then with confidence, as the author of Hebrews says, draw near to the throne of grace to find help in our time of need.