This series, written by Pastor Ricky Jacob, who is serving the Winnebago people of Nebraska, looks at the story of Job and helps us discover how to live a life of faith like him.
Need to start at the beginning? Here's week 1
There are portions of the Bible that are “fly-over” books. You probably know what I am talking about. These books or portions of Scripture include laments. We have more than enough problems of our own, we don't have to read about the problems of others. Maybe you have skipped past the book of Job because he simply goes on and on and on lamenting.
After chapters one and two, Job’s livelihood is in ruins. His family is dead and his health is broken and crushed. He has become an object of horror and a sickening sight. In chapter three Job lets it all hang out. He looked at all his hardship and refused to fly over. We have much to learn from Job.
1. We cope with sorrow by going through it. Notice that I’m not saying that we get past our sorrow. If the sorrow is deep enough, in this life we will never get past it. But we can get through it.
David prays in the 23rd Psalm (23:4), “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .” Note the phrase, “Walk through.” We walk through it. Don’t go around it, tunnel underneath it or try and take a big jump over it. Walk through it. How?
First I Complain. Job complains, “Why should I have to go on living if living involves so much pain!”
A – (Appeal). The second thing I do is appeal to God’s nature, His compassionate merciful nature.
R –Next I remind God of his truth, remind God of what he said, remind God of his reputation.
E – Finally, I Express trust in God’s wisdom and the things I don’t understand. No matter who it is in the Bible when they are lamenting to God, they follow this pattern. Complaining, appealing, reminding, expressing. That’s how we care for ourselves.
2. We survive sorrow by looking past it. I’m not saying that we wallow in our weeping. We go through it but we also look past it. We look past our sorrow to see Jesus who knows what it is like to lament. Oh God, Jesus knows!
Psalm 30:5: “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Refuse to fly over your pain. But also affirm that joy will come in the morning; because of the first Easter morning when our Lord’s own lament was turned into a song of everlasting deliverance. Amen.
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of Good News of Job: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth" [Job 19:25 NIV].