Are you living with unrelenting pain? Do you sometimes wish that God would either heal you or kill you? Job did too:
“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose His hand and cut off my life!
Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”
~ Job 6:8-10
The biblical story of Job’s suffering is an incredible example for us of perseverance. Job suffered greatly in his entire being: in his mind, heart, and body.
He also experienced seasons of desire to die. Though he did not give serious consideration to suicide, he definitely longed for relief through death by the hand of God. He knew that death by his own hand was an ungodly, futile direction to go in.
Job was faithful to God in all of his life. He spoke of his consolation and joy while in unrelenting pain was his faithfulness to God and to what God had spoken to him.
The Apostle Paul was also an individual who suffered greatly. He too wrestled with alternating desires to live for God, and to die by God’s hand. As a follower of Christ he knew that death (by God’s will) was his doorway into the eternal presence of God in Heaven.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
~ Philippians 1:21-24
(Suicide is not an option, that is a doorway into a realm of eternal suffering that makes any suffering in this life seem welcoming.)
As followers of Christ who suffer with unrelenting pain, let’s be like Job whose joy in his season of unrelenting pain was his continuing faithfulness to God and His Word. Let’s be like Paul who considered his ongoing presence in this life to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God.
Be of good courage, my friend! God has a powerful reason for having entrusted us with this very painful mission for our lifetime. Let’s find the joy of faithfulness to God in our unrelenting pain.
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