How do you thank God when life sucks? We are commanded to give thanks, always and for everything (Ephesians 5:20) – how is this possible if your lot in life is lousy?
I know enough people who are having a real tough time in life to be under no illusions that being a Christian exempts anyone from enduring hard times. The situations these people are experiencing are not their own fault or due to a lack of faith. Frankly it looks very much as though God has given some folks a real bum deal.
That seems to be how Job felt too – he believed God is good, he firmly held that it is much better to be righteous than wicked, yet there was no denying his suffering. Job was more honest than his friends, he didn’t try to protect God from the truth – really bad things do happen to good people and there is no logic to it.
I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
(Job 10:1 ESV)
Job knew something wasn’t right and he grew weary of holding it in, he vented, he shocked his friends. His friends snapped back with accusations, defending their doctrine, standing up for God.
Yet someone was listening to all this. Have you ever considered that someone was listening to these conversations and faithfully reported or wrote what was said? This is what I can do for my friends also, listen and take their complaints to God.
Gifts I am noticing:
341) Honest words telling of a spouse who disdains your worship. I cannot change your situation, but I am praying for you.
342) Your endless sleep deprivation. I am praying and trying to help where I can.
343) Your heartbreak and fears for the future in the disarray caused by an unfaithful husband. I am angry too, I don’t know what to pray even, but keep asking God to comfort you.
344) Shortened work hours, rising living costs and healthcare bills causing anxiety. Praying for you both.
345) Unending headaches and stress. I cannot see why you must endure this but Jesus is walking with you and I’m asking Him to give you comfort in your endurance.
346) Depression casting shadows across your soul. Asking our Father to be your light, comfort and hope.
347) Past abuse that has generated hardships beyond my knowing. I see you as you are today and there is grace at work. Praying for continuing grace, comfort and peace.
Useful reading (some of what I read in thinking about how to write this post):
- Bitterness of Soul – a sermon by Jim Davis at Focus on God
- When Everything Crashes Down – a post by Gabe Redel at Xtreme Blog
Image of man praying: iStockphoto