(Written for The Round Farmhouse Ministries and published on September 8, 2023.)
“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.” ~Job 5:8 (NIV)
Most of us will instantly recognize this iconic title and hear the song begin to play in our heads. "Help!! I need somebody." How many times have we found ourselves overwhelmed and in despair, looking and reaching out for help?
One book of the Bible that has affected me more profoundly than any other is the book of Job. "A man of complete integrity" 1:1(NLT), Job revered his Lord and lived a life with absolute uprightness. But, when the LORD allowed a time of hardship and suffering to fall on him, Job refused to take the bad advice of his wife and friends and blame God for his plight. During those agonizing days, after reconciling himself to his situation, Job determined to focus on his blessings and the greatness of his Creator. He understood that we all need to take the bad with the good and praise God through any and every circumstance.
Job 2:10, "But Job replied, "You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong."
Life will be filled with many seasons; some overwhelmingly dark and bleak. Our trials may not be as dramatic or devastating as Job's, but at times of anguish and hardship we can feel utterly tormented. Friends may fail us, but as Isaiah reminds us, "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while He is near." (Isaiah 55:6 NIV). In those times, when we're feeling alone, we must petition God for help!! As Warren W. Wiersbe states, "In the school of faith, sometimes we don't know what the lesson is until we've passed -or failed- the examination!".
But, in our hectic world, how can we continue to keep God close? How do we cry out for help? Carving out quiet time to just close one's eyes and pray, playing worship music with lyrics that remind us of His greatness, setting reminders on our phones to pray (I have 3 set up that say, "God calling, we need to talk."), and making a list of our blessings are just a few of the ways we can bring ourselves closer to Him. Instead of asking why questions, ask "Lord, what do I do now? Guide me.". In Psalm 34:17, King David reminds us, "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles." (ESV)
Since delving deeper into the book of Job, I have learned to become just a little more patient when encountering a rough patch. Like Job, I try to become humble and know that we'll never really understand the Lord's doings. But, I know that I can call on Him to ask for the patience to endure my time of trial and the wisdom to learn from the circumstance. By calling out to God and saying, "Help!!", I know that He's right beside me, ready to lean in and guide me along the way. Further wise words of King David tell us, "Look upon my suffering and rescue me, for I have not forgotten your instructions." Psalm 119-153 (NLT)
Psalm 14:2 (NIV) "The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."
I pray that, for those of us who find ourselves in the darkest of seasons, we remember Your closeness. God, I pray that You hear our cries for help. And as You beckon us Father, I pray we continue to put our trust in Your good promises and walk in faith through our difficult time. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.