In the depth of his suffering Job seems to lose all hope. He screams, “where is my hope? Who will see my hope?” He sees no escape from his pain. He has nothing to look forward to. There’s no one, especially among his friends, who really care about him and will give him the comfort he needs at the time he needs it most.  But through it all he knows the only recourse he really has is God. He says, “Although God may kill me, I will continue to put my hope in Him.”He doesn’t turn to a substitute pain reliever. He doesn’t curse God and just give up and die.

I’ve seen much less suffering  turn people away from God to find solace in work, drugs, food, alcohol, and many other substitutes that seem to deaden them to life’s pains and struggles. But, none of these things will bring meaning, purpose, and significance to a life that has been hurt. They just blur the pain for a while. When the effects where off our pain comes back with a vengeance.

A. E. Houseman wrote:

Alcohol, man, is the stuff to drink, For fellows whom it hurts to think: 

Look into the (beer stein) pewter pot, To see the world as the world is not. 

It all seems good until it’s past, The problem is, it will not last

In the gutter down I’ve lain, Happy, until I woke again

I saw the morning sky, And the tale was all a lie

The world, it was the same world yet, I was still me, and my clothes were wet.

We are often tempted to handle our struggles and pains in life by escaping them.  From Texas history comes the story of the conversion of Sam Houston. At one time, the Texas hero was called “The Old Drunk.” While he was governor of Tennessee, his wife left him. In despair he resigned as governor and tried to escape his problems by going to live among Cherokee Indians. He stayed drunk much of the time. It is said that the Indians, as they walked through the forest, would have to move him out of the path where he lay in a stupor. He finally recognized the futility of this life and turned to Christ, married a Baptist preachers daughter, and became the key figure in Texas’ struggle for independence.

Isaiah teaches us that in all our pain and suffering. The Lord is the only place to put our hope. He writes,  “Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary.

They will walk and won’t grow tired.”


“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.  I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” (Job 3:25-26)