“Even now my witness is in heaven;” Job 16.19
The story of Job is painful as we read of a man’s journey through the agony of suffering. Many regard it as a story of gloom, yet within it are beautiful words of hope and passion. Indeed, today’s words contain enormous vision.
Suffering has many effects upon us. Some speak of the strength and comfort they receive in the midst of their hardships, whilst others speak of crushing despair. Suffering can become a time of insight or a time of blind groping in the dark. The book of Job has elements of both and his words above reveal something of his vision despite his suffering; that even in the dark and gloom of his situation, he knew that he was not alone and that there was one in heaven who had seen everything he was going through.
The Bible longs for us to catch this - God has seen our suffering. In the person of Jesus, God came and experienced the reality of human suffering, physical pain and mental anguish, and he is also here with us now – present with us in all we are going through. He really does know and is a true witness to our pain; not one who sees from afar but one who really knows. We are not alone.
You may not think that your hardships equate with those of Job and others may well be going through worse, but your suffering is real for you. The words that Job spoke are equally true for you: Jesus is a witness to your suffering. He has experienced the pain you feel and stands with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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