Job 6:11 NIV
“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?”
I will publicly admit, “I refuse to get on a roller coaster!” I do not go to amusement parks because I am terrified of those things. You get into the little car or seat depending on the type of ride, then you are strapped in with a safety harness by the amusement park personnel. Once given the green light, the roller coaster slowly creeps up a hill. You can hardly see the peak and without warning you suddenly drop at a high rate of speed, you go through twist and turns, ups and downs, more sudden drops and then finally the speed slows down and you come to a stop. The ride is over. The safety harness miraculously kept you secure through the ride, and you have a racing heart as a souvenir for a two minute roller coaster ride. Whew! Personally I don’t understand the purpose and excitement of the ride and good luck convincing me to get on one.
Unfortunately I don’t have the same option to refuse the roller coaster ride called life. At times we can go through life minding our business and then suddenly and without warning something happens that knocks you down and sends you round and round until you have a breakthrough. Sometimes you may be hit with one issue and other times you have a season of “If it ain’t one thing it’s another.” The trials of life are definitely not fun and there is no thrill in the journey. There are times you won’t understand why you are going through what you go through and you don’t see your way out. The good news is in the trials of life you have a safety harness called “God’s promises” to keep you safe and secure so you do not fall off of the ride.
In our scripture passage today Job asked the same question many of us have asked when life is not looking in our favor, “What strength do I have that I should still hope?” There are times when we go through the storm and we don’t understand the circumstances. There are times we get so knocked down one can’t imagine ever smiling or happy again. It can get rough, painful, and dark, and hope seems far from the imagination. My friends, I am here to remind you today there is a reason to HOLD ON and there is hope.
First, we are not exempt from hard times. 1 Peter 4:12 says “dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you.” John 16:33 says, “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.” Jesus suffered a great deal and his last account of suffering was at the cross. Jesus overcame the cross through the power of His resurrection. Through the power of His resurrection He overcame the attack of the enemy and He overcame whatever it is you are going through right now. The scripture says that “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” The things He has left for us are the promises in His Holy Word, the Bible. Whatever you are going through there is a promise, our safety harness, for you to HOLD ON to as you go through the trial of life. John 16:33 says “that you may have peace”. As you meditate and HOLD ON to the promises of God He promises that “you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because you trust in God.” (Isaiah 26:3) As you HOLD ON to your promise you have to trust God that His word will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).
Secondly, when you go through trials you are not alone. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) There is another promise to HOLD ON to, “God saves those crushed in spirit.” When Jesus resurrected He left the power of the Holy Spirit to be with you, to intercede on your behalf and to whisper God’s promises to you. I know there are times we as humans go through things that we no way want to share with others, but tell God and the Holy Spirit. They are a safe place. God wants you to cast all of your worries and anxieties to Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
When you go through trials “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”. (Romans 12:12) In other words you have so many more blessings in your life to count and to focus on. It’s up to you to write them down, count them one by one, and rejoice over what God has done. You’ve been through trials before and God did not leave you there. Rejoice that if He did it before, then God can do it again! Remain patient. God is not a God of details, so he is not going to send you a text message or a calendar appointment saying “your trial will end on this day.” You don’t know when your breakthrough will come, but HOLD ON to the promise that it will come in God’s appointed time. (Habakkuk 2:3) Continue to pray daily. God hears your prayers. (Psalm 66:19)
“But I don’t have the strength to endure. I have nothing to live for.” (Job 6:11 NLT) You may very well feel like Job in that you do not have the strength to be patient and endure, but HOLD ON to God’s promise that “you can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength”. (Philippians 4:13) HOLD ON to the promise in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Your suffering is only temporary. HOLD ON to the promises of 1 Peter 5:10 “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation”. Do you see the hope that you have to HOLD ON to? God will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and give you a firm foundation! HOLD ON to the promises of 2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” There it is again….your troubles are only temporary and what God has for you far outweighs what you are going through in the right now.
In Job 6:11 Job felt like he had absolutely nothing to live for. He cried, pouted, questioned God, and begged God to take His life, but God was not fazed by Job’s depression or temper tantrums. In Job’s depression he had the strength to endure 36 more chapters. In Job 42 God worked all things out for Job’s good. Job HELD ON to his rollercoaster and as a result God restored Job’s fortunes (v.10), God blessed Job and the second half of his life was greater (v.12), and Job lived a long and full life (v.17)
I have had more than I cared to endure of life’s roller coasters. I have been knocked down, blindsided, financial issues, terminated long-term friendships, relationship issues, family issues, heart break, grief, family deaths, but I am a living testimony that I am still standing with joy and peace that no circumstance or human could ever take away. My Romans 8:28 is that I am now able to share my testimony with others and give them light and hope for their roller coaster ride. If my temporary suffering was meant to bring hope into another individuals life then I gladly count it all joy! My dear friend I don’t know how your roller coaster ride will end. I can only assure you that if you HOLD ON to God’s promises and receive his unconditional love and peace that in time your ride will be over. Just HOLD ON!
Heavenly Father, we count it all joy when we face many trials knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. We thank you that patience will have its perfect work, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Lord as we face the challenges of life give us the peace we need, the comfort we need, the support system that we need to endure. We HOLD ON to the hope knowing that all that we are going through will somehow work for our good because we love you. We HOLD ON to the hope that our current circumstance is not the end to our story. We may not see the outcome right now, and we may never know why we had to go through certain trials, but help us to put all of our hope and trust in you that you hear our prayers and will deliver us at the appointed time. Lord, we come lifting all those who are deeply depressed and contemplating suicide because they feel all hope is gone. We pray that you stop their thoughts and plans of suicide right now in the name of Jesus. Overflow these individuals with your unconditional love and hug them with your peace and comfort. Remind them that in you they have everything to live for and nothing to lose. Send your promises our way concerning the matters of our heart that we may have hope to HOLD ON to. Lord, give us the strength to just HOLD ON! We thank you that you hear our prayer and ask all these things in your precious son Jesus name. Amen
Further Reading: Psalm 34 is a scripture passage that brought me hope during times I felt like there wasn’t any hope. Be blessed and be encouraged!
~Written by Felicia McKnight~