Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement--days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief. Could we at such times discern with spiritual insight the meaning of God's providences we should see angels seeking to save us from ourselves, striving to plant our feet upon a foundation more firm than the everlasting hills, and new faith, new life, would spring into being.
The faithful Job, in the day of his affliction and darkness, declared:
"Let the day perish wherein I was born." "O that my grief were throughly weighed, And my calamity laid in the balances together!"
"O that I might have my request; And that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; That He would let loose His hand, and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort."
"I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."
"My soul chooseth . . . death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: Let me alone; For my days are vanity." Job 3:3; 6:2, 8-10; 7:11, 15, 16.
But though weary of life, Job was not allowed to die. To him were pointed out the possibilities of the future, and there was given him the message of hope:
"Thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear: Because thou shalt forget thy misery, And remember it as waters that pass away: And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; Thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. And thou shalt be secure, Because there is hope. . . . Thou shalt lie down, And none shall make thee afraid; Yea, many shall make suit unto thee. But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, And they shall not escape, And their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost." Job 11:15-20.