For the past eleven posts, we’ve looked at the word “hope” as found in the book of Job. I bet you thought we’d never get out of Job but this is our last look at hope there. But hasn’t it been rich and appropriate for a person who is in such a hopeless situation? We know the end of Job’s story but Job didn’t at the time. To keep hope alive when you don’t know the end of the story is hard. So many times we think, “If I could just know the end of the story and then come back, I could handle it.” But then our hope would be in “the end of the story,” not God and walking and abiding in Him moment by moment.
I’ve been so intrigued to think of so many things we can have hope in—other than God. But only God offers a hope that is completely faithful, loving and true. All the other things we might hope in will let us down. And the last mention of hope in Job unfortunately is about those who don’t have this sure hope:
“For what is the hope of the godless when he is cut off, When God requires his life?” (Job 27:8 NASB).
This verse reminds us to not take for granted the blessings of the hope that we have. If you read the rest of chapter 27, Job gives a long list of the disadvantages that the godless have without that hope of God’s faithful love. From the opposite we can infer the blessings we have in knowing God. Here they are:
God hears us (vs 9)
We can delight in God and call upon Him anytime (vs 10)
We have a good portion and inheritance (vs 13)
We are saved, safe, and satisfied in God (vs 14-15)
We have God’s provision (vs 16-19)
We have peace and confidence even in the midst of difficulty (vs 20-23)
Oh, what a glorious hope we have. Life doesn’t always go smoothly and it is challenging but there is a Rock under us that we can depend upon and trust in.
As I skimmed through the rest of Job’s story, I wondered whether I could find a nutshell that would wrap up Job’s hope in God. When I came upon Job 42, I read the words of a humbled man who had come to the place of putting his total hope in God. He had been humiliated and brought so low that everything had been stripped from him He literally had nothing to offer God and could only completely throw himself at God’s feet and beg for mercy.
2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.
4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’
5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (NLT).
True hope results in a humble spirit. Broken hope is a godly perspective that says I can only depend upon and hope in Someone far superior to myself. Complete hope recognizes there is really nothing else that deserves our hope. And emptied hope gives us an insight into God that is personal and real. We no longer know about Him from a distance but we’ve “seen him with our own eyes.”
Our hope in God is based in God’s amazing power (vs 2), who doesn’t allow us to remain in ignorance (vs 3), who calls us to truth (vs 4), and receives our repentance and surrender (vs 5-6). Oh, what a glorious God to hope in, depend upon, and trust in.