Job had it bad. Everything that could possibly go wrong for him did. In one day, his enemies carried off all his wealth, killed his servants, and his children all died when the house they were in collapsed. Job didn’t know it was all a test instigated from Satan, to see if he would still trust in God, even if everything was taken away.

Job was heartbroken, but didn’t give up his faith in God. Then Satan got permission to attack his body. Job was covered in painful sores, from the top of his head to the bottoms of his feet. His friends, who should have shown compassion and support, told him he was suffering because he was a sinner. His wife said to curse God and die. He was utterly alone in his suffering, exhausted by the effort it took to keep living. He thought about ending his life, but knew that wouldn’t solve his problems.

In deep anguish he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…” (Job 13:15). Job didn’t know how it would end, but he knew God was his only hope. How? Because he had spent a lifetime getting to know God, who had proved Himself faithful.

So he held on. He even prayed for his friends when God asked him to, because they had given him wrong advice. And, in the end, “…the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part” (Job 42:10-12).

Bible scholars believe Job is the oldest book in the Bible. Why do you think God made sure it was written first? I think it’s because everyone suffers, and we want to know why. Sometimes it’s a test, like in Job’s case, to see if we will trust God in the dark. Sometimes we suffer because of our own stupid choices. Other times we suffer because people make bad choices that affect us. We also suffer because we live in a world infected by sin.

No matter what the reason, the answer is still the same: hope in God. Even if we don’t have the strength to stand up or speak an intelligible word, much less sing in praise, we can pray for help. And God will answer.

We can say, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28). And God will answer.

Hang on. Don’t give up. Look to Jesus for help.

Here is a depiction of Job from the Story album. In it, we see Job’s pain, but also his strong faith in God that kept him going.