People always have wondered why adverse circumstances happen, whether to themselves or to others. Job naturally wondered why God allowed calamity to surround him (Job 10). Not only did he suffer the loss of his livestock, his servants, and his children (leaving him with only a nagging wife), but his friends were only good for adding insults to his injuries. They offered no support, no assurance of God’s faithfulness, no hope. Granted, given the gravity and thoroughness of Job’s losses, the situation did look fairly hopeless.

However, it’s only eyes of faith that can see hope when our earthly circumstances are clouded with everything from minor annoyances to gross injustice to abject evil. There comes a time when each and every one of us needs to hear a word of hope—not in a trite and terminally perky way. People know when they’re being brushed off and dismissed or when someone tries to downplay a situation and declare that someone else has it worse. True, someone else always will have it worse while someone else will have it better—for a time.

The hope is that surviving adversity serves to strengthen and mature us. The hope is that there is a future that’s more than an improvement upon our current circumstances. The hope is that God is using the good and the bad that passes through His hands to grow and change us…from Job to Joseph, who was able to look beyond the facts to find the truth and declare that what was intended for evil God intended for good (Gen. 50:20). That’s the hope.

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