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I am continuing my daily devotions in Job and I have to say I have considered over the last few days why Job in such adversity was able to find hope and not commit suicide. When you read his story and think about all that he was facing you have to wonder how he is able to stand strong in the midst of his adversity yet so many today are not able to stand. Statistics tell us that 1 million people a year commit suicide or approximately one every 40 seconds. In the US alone there is one every 13 minutes or so. Most of those committing suicide are 40 to 50 year old men. With all this we look at Job and see that he fits all the criteria for a person that should commit suicide and yet he doesn’t.  Add to this that his wife and friends, instead of encouraging him, add to his misery and even suggest that he curse God and die.

Why does Job not commit Suicide and Why Should Christians not Commit Suicide?

The thing I noticed as I have been reading through Job is that in the midst of the suffering and sorrow he finds hope and teaches us a valuable lesson about how we should view our situation in light of who we are to God. Where Job’s friends right in condemning him, saying he was being punished by God for some hidden sin in his life? The answer is NO! Job was an upright man. God himself testified “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless man, one who fears God and shuns evil.” This was not a punishment by God. God was allowing Job to be purified through suffering.

Even though Job’s situation seems hopeless, Job entrusted his soul to God who was his and our only hope. This realization of Job comes through as a small prick of light in his thoughts. He starts by saying “14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.  15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” (Job 14:14) He starts to contemplate life after death and what his life would be like after the resurrection.

He moves from this to a greater revelation in (Job 19:25-27) with the statement. “25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” As Job continues he gains more and more insight into who His Redeemer is and his attributes.

It is this same Redeemer that we can look to today for hope in our hopelessness. We know that Job’s Redeemer still lives today. He came to earth and died for our sins and is coming again and we can look forward to that day as Job looked to that day as well. “11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14) All our hope is in Christ and Christ alone. Paul who suffered much knew what it meant to look for Christ for hope in the midst of his suffering “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

We also know from Paul that the tribulation and suffering we experience is temporary and nothing compared to the Glory we will one day experience. “18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:18-21)

So as I read Job’s story and see how he was treated I look to him for the hope that he Found in his Redeemer. May we have that same hope in our lives even in the midst of our suffering. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

 

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