Read Job 3
Focus on verse 11
This chapter could perhaps be summarized into one very short sentence as follows: “And Job said: I’m so depressed I wish I was dead!” I am grateful that I have never had to experience what we now diagnose as clinical depression. I have heard it expressed as a heavy blackness that smothers the soul. It takes the joy and purpose out of living. Job seems here to be seriously depressed, and why should be not be? He has just lost everything short of his life and his wife. He’s lost his wealth. He’s lost his health. He’s lost his children, his livestock…and I expect for the most part his dignity and self respect. He is sitting on an ash heap feeling miserable. Perhaps he is simply being honest when he expresses his remorse at being alive.
In the midst of such intense anguish it is not unusual to lose sight of everything but the pain we are experiencing. Apparently the memory of happier times in the past is not sufficient at this point to give Job hope for happier times in the future. It is at times like this that we need the encouragement and support of friends more than ever. It is also at times like this that is it most difficult for those friends to be there for us. After all, who wants to hang around with a guy who wishes he was dead? Hardly the kind of party that makes you go home feeling uplifted.
So where does one find hope in a situation like this? The same place we find hope when things are as they should be… in the faithfulness and mercy of God. Despite Job’s dismal outlook, the reality of his situation is that God’s love for Job has not changed. The only thing that has changed is Job’s circumstance.
When our circumstances change for the worse, we are faced with a choice. Will we allow the hardship that we face to make us bitter? Or will we allow it to make us better?