So This is What "Hard" Feels Like

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." Job 19:25 (NIV)
Do you know what "hard" feels like? I'm not talking about the feel of stone by a river, or concrete under your feet. I'm talking emotionally hard … spiritually hard. The kind of hard that makes you want to give up, go back to bed or slip into some sort of temporary abandonment of reality.

Do you know the kind of hard that makes you question everything you know, or thought you knew, about God?

The book of Job in the Old Testament tells the story of someone who knew hard. It's surely one of the most difficult to read because God removed His hand of protection and allowed all the pain that Job experienced. In fact, God even pointed Job out to Satan as blameless, which Satan twisted into a challenge to bring Job down.

Confident in Job, God allowed the testing. So one by one, Satan destroyed that which was dear to Job: his family, health and possessions. Then, just when you think it couldn't get any worse, Job's wife and friends step in to "help" with the most unhelpful advice. Job is beset on all sides, and at times he is ready to give up, even asking God to "crush" him and relieve him of misery.

Job was a good and honest man. A man of high integrity, He didn't deserve the hard times he experienced. Yet, in spite of unrelenting agony, Job battled to hold on to truth – truth about his feelings and truth about God. In spite of confusion and questions, Job refused to curse God. Though Job didn't understand why he was suffering, he chose to walk in honesty and integrity, believing God would bring something good out if it.

Job faced "hard" head on. He wobbled a bit, but then planted his feet and steadfastly held on to faith that his God who had never abandoned him before, would not do so now. No matter what he lost, and who abandoned him, Job knew God would always be with him. His emotions may have pulled a bit on this, but Job kept steering back to center. Job faced "hard" well.

To declare his faith, Job spoke words that echo through generations, off the lips of saints of old and suffering saints today: "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth."

Job's story has a happy ending. After passing the testing, the Bible says, "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first" (Job 42:12a, NIV). Although Job had to go through the hard times, and there were no easy answers, the Lord never abandoned him, and had a reward on the other side.

The good news is Job's story can be ours. Not that we would wish such catastrophe on ourselves, but we all face our own "hard." And Job's Redeemer is our Redeemer. If you are facing something hard today, Job's story can bring you comfort and hope, for our Redeemer lives!

Dear Lord, I praise You for being the same regardless of what I am going through. There is nothing that is outside Your control. Help me to suffer well, and to guard my lips against any falsehood. Turn my face toward You when I can't lift it myself. I choose to trust You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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Application Steps:
List attributes of God that you know will never change.

Keep this list handy the next time you face trouble.

Reflections:
What are some characteristics of a person who faces "hard" well?

What are some good daily practices when one is undergoing difficult times?

Power Verses:
Job 13:15-16a, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance" (NIV)

Job 42:12, "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first." (NIV)

© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Lorraine Furtner said...

Dear Glynnis, I woke up feeling sick because my job is so hard right now--and it's a job I've prayed for years to receive! I was praying in the shower about how to handle it and that old adage "that which does not kill us makes us stronger" to which I added "or insane!" I said "Lord, I know you've got me here for a purpose to train me to better serve you...but does it have to be so hard?" I came downstairs, got my coffee, checked in for my God moment...and here is my answer: Yes. Yes, sometimes it does have to be hard. But He is going through it with me. I am not alone. And there are others out there with me as well, asking God the same question this morning. Maybe they are fighting cancer. Maybe they are facing loss, like Job. As you said, there are all kinds of "hard." God is here for all of us. Thank you so much for these words of encouragement this morning and for letting God use your talents as a writer.

Anonymous C.J. said...

Thank you so much for this word from the WORD...I needed to hear this encouragement. Things have been hard for a few years now...I love the Scripture you posted; "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." What wonderful hope is in that statement and knowing it was from a man who had undergone such tragedy makes it all the more powerful.

God bless you...and God bless those who identify with this struggle!

Thanks for the devotional. "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" It's encouragement that I'll carry me through the day. Life is hard, but when I reflect on the life of Job, on the life of Christ, the life of Paul, the hardness in my life is nearer to talc, rather than diamond. But, regardless the scale, God is there, God working His wonderful plan for me to bless me and to bring me into a near perfect image of Him..

Blogger His Darling said...

How my Lord is right on time. I was at the point of throwing in the towel just last night. I text my best friend and asked for them to pray in agreement with me because I was having my "hard" moment.
Then I remembered a verse I heard in the form of a song when having done all to stand...stand. Thank you for your obedience in your writings. Be blessed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Glynnis,
I loved this today as well. I feel my life has been turned inside out and upside down since approaching Christ and have felt like giving up and walking away. It's a battle! Something that should be easy became hard and lost a lovely relationship with a Christian as a result.Thanks for this devotion. There are indeed all kinds of "hard", including hard heart which is one of the biggest battles!Pray that I will lose the fear and have total peace. Need to know Jesus personally, fully and for sure

Anonymous Andrea said...

I've been through "hard" and I know so many people going through "hard" right now. What comforted me then and brings hope now is my favorite scirpture Jeremiah 29:11. God has a plan for our lives. Even though Satan tries to derail that plan, he will not prevail. God is in control. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Anonymous Wendy said...

This is the second time this week I've read the "...my Redeemer lives" scripture, so obviously God is trying to tell me something. Thanks for posting this and being part of His awesome timing in my life. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been experiencing how "hard" feels like all of the suddent my husband comes home and tells me this is it, I want a divorce, I am not the man you think I am. I have not been faithfull and don't feel nothing towards you I want to live my life, I trully believe that marriage is untill death do us apart but I don't know how to deal with this. looking for answers when I can't sleep I remember the proverbs 31 ministry and ask God to talk to me thru his word. I am so bless that I found this web site that has been a blessing and uplifting my spirit I thank God for your ministry keep up the good work helping hurting souls.

Anonymous patricia bruno said...

Embracing the Truth of Job 19:25 can be difficult~~last week, i had to visit my sister who is isolated by fear & depression~~staying for the week to encourage her was a blessing~spoke w/her yesterday and she was cooking dinner for her husband for the first time in many months~she is being counseled/medication but my heart yearns for the day or truly the moment she will trust her Redeemer again as she has in the past! please pray for her and husband/adult children~they need to understand and be encouraging~Our Lord is so, so Faithful~gratefully,patricia

Anonymous marilyn said...

i thank u so much for this word, i lost my 1yr 1mth son on the 8th of october 2010 and believe i can really identify with Job he was born prematurely at 26 weeks but he survived and we managed to pail thru all the tides that came our way. I actually recall making a dvd of our journey and the song 'my redeemer lives' played in the background- i was so excited at the way he was growing and was now so much fun to have ard but jus then i warfa with his death. Today i almost gave up because the pain is extreme but after reading this i have realised that i'm not alone and my redeemer hasn't forsaken me- thank u for these comforting words- pls continue to pray for us

Blogger Glynnis Whitwer said...

To anonymous - dear sister, I am so sorry your husband has hurt you deeply. I know it will take time to accept this truth - but you are deeply, dearly and faithfully loved by God. He will never lie to you, betray you or leave you. Hang on to Him in the coming days, weeks and month.

To Marilyn - Precious one, I can't imagine your pain. But I do know only Jesus can fill that aching hole in your heart. Don't rush ahead of grief, let it do its work. Hold on to God's truths and each day He will give you what you need to make it through that day.

He never tires of giving His strength to His beloved daughters.

I want to encourage you to visit the website of a friend of mine: www.mommieswithhope.blogspot.com. It's a precious place for you to receive hope. Please email me personally if I can do anything: editor@proverbs31.org.

In His Love - Glynnis

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