“When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!” Job 42:10
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him”. – James 1:12
Going through any hardship can take its toll. Becoming self-absorbed in the pain, and isolating yourself from the world is a temptation we all can face. When you feel like you have nothing left to give, or no value to add it may appear like the only logical thing to do is keep quiet while you drown yourself in a pool of depression.
A few years back I went through a difficult time in my relationships and career. I lost my job; right as I was coming out of a broken engagement. The feelings of rejection and loneliness were strong. I literally felt worthless as my confidence began to slowly fade away to nothing. My stubborn pride wouldn’t allow me to open up and share my true feelings. I managed to force a smile while trying to convince others around me I was doing ok. But the truth was, I wasn’t…. Sadly I was becoming depressed and didn’t know what to do…
Through my struggle, I found that Jesus can bring joy through our greatest hurts (James 1). One of the unique privileges we have as believers is the Word of God. I soon learned that the Lord speaks to us supernaturally through the incredible life stories of other believers who went before us. These ordinary men and woman didn’t necessarily have easy lives; however they surrendered to a higher calling not knowing that it would one day change the world around them.
The story of Job helped me gain a new perspective on my faith. The Bible describes him as being a Godly man, who was blessed and very successful. If Forbes Magazine had existed during Job’s lifetime, he would have been on the front cover. He possessed everything a man could want. Despite his faith and success Job still loses everything. All his Children were killed, a one-time thriving business and beautiful home were also completely destroyed. To make matters worse, he was living with a life-threatening disease while his wife and friends stood by his bedside questioning him about his faith in God. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and sorrow he must have felt. For months, Job wonders why he was even born. To the reader (and to Job) it would seem like his life was completely over. Throughout the scriptures he slowly, and sadly begins to lose all hope for a better day. However something miraculous happens when Job hears the voice of God. Suddenly through all the pain, sadness and loneliness he finally decides to get his eyes off himself; and listens to God by praying for his friends. The moment he prays for his friends, (the same friends who doubted and questioned him), God restores Job back to complete health, allows him to rebuild his business; and start a beautiful new family. The Bible even says that he had twice as much as he had before.
James says that “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him…” I love the promises of God. They are guaranteed. It’s like receiving tomorrow’s newspaper a day early. We already know the outcome and the final score of the championship game. As we persevere through our earthly trials, the Holy Spirit gives us assurance that we can receive eternal life through our faith in Jesus Christ. Persevering through prayer makes us alive in Christ. It awakens the soul to pursue the things that God created us to do. Job persisted under his trial, and despite his pain he was still able to be a blessing to others.
How about you? Are you persevering, or have you already given up all hope? Just because you’re struggling today; please remember that God still heard Job’s prayer, and he hears yours. Don’t allow yourself to believe that you have nothing to add, or that your Heavenly Father doesn’t hear your voice. Regardless of your situation you are a valuable piece of the puzzle in someone else’s life. Don’t stop praying, and never stop believing for a better day. Continue to press in through the trials, and allow your soul to hear the voice of your Creator. He is speaking even in the midst of your darkest hour. I can speak from personal experience when I say, “This Too Shall Pass”, and you can receive the crown of life from our Savior Jesus Christ. Don’t give up, it’s a new day!