There is no reasonable hope for countless lives, and it is shallow nonsense to tell them to “cheer up.” Life to them is a hell of darkness of the most appalling order. The one who preaches at such a time is an impertinence, but the one who says “I don’t know why you are going through this, it is black and desperate, but I will wait with you,” is an unspeakable benediction and sustaining. Job has no one to do this for him, his one-time friends simply add to his bitterness.

The decrees of despair lie underneath everything a man does when once he rules out his relationship to God and takes rationalism as the basis of life. Solomon sums up the whole matter—unless a man is rightly related in confidence to God, everything he tries to do will end in despair.

Reflection Questions: Are my conversations more likely to inspire hope or hopelessness? In what ways can I offer hope to someone in despair?

Quotations taken from Baffled to Fight Better and Still Higher for His Highest, © Discovery House Publishers

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