Turn to God in Suffering (Job 3:20–22) - Radical

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Turn to God in Suffering (Job 3:20–22)

“Why is light given to him who is in misery and life to the bitter in soul who long for death but it comes not and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they find the grave.” So we’ve seen such faith, worship, blessing in Job in chapter one and chapter two but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and it doesn’t mean it’s not without question and wrestling in agony, which is what we start to see unfold in Job chapter three as he laments the day he was born. He just wishes he had never had life he’s in such pain. And here, in these verses, he’s saying, “Why? Why do I have life? I don’t want life. I long for death. I’d be glad to find the grave. I’d be so glad to find the grave,” Job said, “I’d be fine if I never had life in the first place.”
-Job 3:20–22

Job is at an obviously low point. Understandable, of course, in light of all that he’s gone through and understandable because so many of us in varied ways get to points like this. And I say us because we’re not alone in this. It’s Job here but I think about Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He got to the point, and this was after he’d called down fire from heaven and Jezebel was making threats against him, that’s all it took. He’s on the run.

Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you at all times, we pray.

He sits down and he’s like, “God, I don’t even want to live. I don’t want to live anymore.” And so, let’s just put it out there. This is a common struggle that’s not beyond any one of us to get to a point where we wonder if we want to go on and we even wish we didn’t have life in the first place. The whole picture here I want to remind us of and pray according to is this picture of Job bringing these questions to God?

Job 3:20–22 Calls Us to Pray to the Lord

So can we just pray and say, “God, we have so many questions, when it comes especially to the reality of evil and suffering in this world and especially when we’re experiencing it”? And some of us are experiencing it now in really heavy ways. God, I presume there are people listening to this right now who at varying levels have wondered or even wonder now if they want to go on, even wish they didn’t have life in the first place.

This World is Broken

God, this fallen world fills us with these kinds of groanings and longings and questions and so we pray that you would help us in the middle of all our questions, in the middle of the suffering that we walk through and all that we face in this world and all that we feel in this world. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you at all times, we pray.

Job 3:20–22 Leads Us to Pray for God’s Help

God, I pray for that in my life. I pray for that in every single person who’s listening right now, God, that you would help us to always keep our eyes fixed on you by faith. Even as we ask hard, wrestling questions, help us to keep our eyes fixed on you. Even as we walk through hard days where we don’t want go on, help us to keep our eyes on you and to trust in you with our questions, our feelings, our thoughts.

God is Big Enough for Our Questions

Please keep our eyes fixed on you, because we know you’re big enough for our questions and you’re able to sustain us through our suffering. So keep every person’s eyes who’s listening to this, including my own, fixed on you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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