Day 2

Job’s Lament

from the Job reading plan

Job 3:1-26, Philippians 3:7–11, 2 Timothy 2:8–13

BY Lisa Harper

I once had a surgeon tell me I wasn’t a very good patient because I tried to “gut it out,” instead of being honest about the pain I was experiencing. Apparently, it’s hard on a healer when a patient masks their symptoms; making a diagnosis can become a bit like trying to shoot at a moving target.

My doctor believed my stubborn refusal to admit pain reflected my lack of trust in his competence as a physician. In Job chapter three, we see that Job is honest about his own pain, which is a clear indicator that he truly wants to be healed and trusts in the competence of the Great Physician. It would take me a long time to learn that instead of exacerbating a painful experience, honest tears and the acknowledgment of pain can actually serve as a soothing pressure relief valve.

By contrast, between the amped-up sensation of reality television, the shrieking discord of current political affairs, and the twenty-four/seven barrage of social media that has saturated our culture, it’s entirely possible for real trauma and suffering to go unnoticed and untended. We rush to triage emotional hangnails but completely ignore the people around us who are bleeding out. Silence doesn’t always indicate bravery, but it is a pretty good indicator that we might not notice when someone is truly suffering.

Job’s outburst is a healthy reminder that our Redeemer doesn’t rank our emotions on a scale from good to bad, allowing only “good” emotions like joy and peace while barring “bad” emotions like grief and disappointment. We do not have to censor ourselves before the God who knows our hearts better than we do. Scripture doesn’t instruct us to smile on the outside while we die on the inside—just the opposite, in fact (see 1 Samuel 1). Frankly, I believe one of the biggest fallacies perpetrated in communities of faith is that the closer we get to Jesus, the more we need to keep a lid on it. Stoicism is not a spiritual gift, y’all!

We need to understand there’s a colossal difference between disagreeing with God and denying His existence altogether. Job cursed the day he was born and expressed confusion, frustration, and even anger, at God over allowing tragedy to befall him—but he did not reject God. In fact, the tormented exasperation Job hurls toward God proves that he is anything but an atheist! He knows God holds all things together.

Faith powered by God can stretch us far beyond our own capacity to endure. Still, it’s not our anguish that distances us from God; it’s our apathy. The main takeaway from Job chapter three: we can and should continue to bring all of who we are—including our anger, confusion, and disappointment—before God. We can trust Him with every piece of our hearts.


Post Comments (126)

126 thoughts on "Job’s Lament"

  1. Jazmine Bates says:

    This scripture is AMAZING!!!! God doesn’t call us to be perfect, and this is such a true testament of Christians not being perfect! When you hear ‘Christians’ you hear this everlasting joy they have, which is true because of the gospel and all that it entails. BUT, the transparency we can allow our God to see is very enlightening. I think this passage of scripture should be HIGHLIGHTED EVERYWHERE.

  2. Katy S says:

    Been having a rough week. Needed the reminder that I don’t have to be brave alone

  3. Rachel Nixon says:

    We have been navigating the road of post-partum depression and the aspect that hurts the most is friends who believe this to be a choice or lack of faith. God can handle my struggle but often the people of God can’t. Hearing Job’s lament is oddly encouraging-life won’t always be roses but God, who doesn’t change, is there!

  4. Lynsey Cyrus says:

    Needed this so much today

  5. Cierra McCasland says:

    I felt deep comfort to be reminded that God truly wants me to be honest with Him. My family is in an extremely hard season as my grandfather is waiting for an amputation and very angry. I am reminded that God wants me to be truthful with Him and in my honesty He is there.

  6. Cristal Castillo says:

    Reading this really gave me hope and comfort, I am pregnant with my first baby and while I was excited to find out that I was bearing a child and I was ready to receive the famous “pregnancy glow” it has been the total opposite. I was diagnosed with HG (hypermesis gravidarum) and it has been super severe and horrible experience so far, I have been in and out of the hospital, this has been affecting my life in all aspects as I am limited to doing anything. I’ve been feeling like God has been silent in this moment, but now that I read this, I understand it’s because I haven’t even expressed my pain to Him.

  7. Kirsten Rosen says:


  8. Ashlee Ritter says:

    I really love what this devotion has to say. I have lived my whole life too scared to truly let my feelings out to God. I guess I’ve been scared to show that I am disappointed in something or that I don’t think that what has happened to me or someone else is fair. Stoicism is something I guess I felt is what was necessary! Grin it and bear it! I finally realize it’s ok to vent our anger, disappointments, worries, and sadness to Him, plus, He already knows it!! It’s a weight lifted off of my chest knowing I can be ME to Jesus and He still accepts me. Praise God

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