Many people would know who Job of the bible is, a man who went through great hardship because of his faithfulness to God. This man was blessed by God for his faithfulness, he had a healthy family and was well off. In the book of Job is one of the few times we see inside the court of heaven and see Lucifer asking God for someone to torment. God points toward Job showcasing his most faithful man on earth at that time. Lucifer sets his sights on making this faithful child of God reject the one he serves. Losing everything here in chapter three we see Job lamenting his misfortune.
Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child,
like a baby who never lives to see the light?
I have been teaching and presenting information to my coworkers and staff about mental health. Here in Job, we see one of the first cases of depression. He just lost everything and for no reason that he could ascertain. His wife is no help at all, so he sits in the square wrapped in the clothes of the mourning, crying out to God asking why this has happened to him. Many would expect in these moments that Job would curse God and reject him for these random events that have killed his children, his livestock and inflicted him with unknown sores and pain. Not one of his friends would have expected any less from someone who looked like he had been segregated from God. But Job in all his misery just kept asking questions contemplating what he must have done never finding an answer, thinking maybe he would have been better off if he had not been born.
Job in his depression is asking God to show him why he even exists if all this pain and sorrow was thrown at him. We are doing the same thing, but I wonder how many of us have the strength and endurance to ask God without cursing God for the pain? We may not experience to the degree what Job did but we do go through tough times where we often wonder what we did that lead us here. As we see in Job sometimes we have done nothing. The enemy is working diligently to find a way for us to reject the one who gives us life, hope and truth. His desire is to separate us and bring us down. When we are depressed we become ineffective in sharing our faith and focus on things such as ‘why were we even born’. We may even turn to unhealthy coping to bring us through this time instead of relying on God.
How then can we strengthen ourselves to overcome depression and attacks when they come our way? What can we do to prepare? As we never know when this may hit we need to learn to heed warning signs. Anxiety, bitterness and unforgiveness can lead us down this path. Preparing ourselves by reading the word of God daily, hiding it away in our hearts, reminding ourselves that God loves us. Taking time to pray for others as well as ourselves, outing God at the centre of our lives can give us the strength to ride through the tough times. There will be tough times, the enemy will attack but how we respond to those attacks will be the true test of your faith.
Father, we like Job will are enemies of the devil who wants to bring us down. We pray for strength and wisdom to persevere through these attacks and come out victorious, stronger than ever. I pray we recognize when our brothers and sisters are being attacked and rally behind them encouraging them to keep the faith. Work through us to reach those in desperate need of your love. Amen