“Where then is my hope—who can see any hope for me?” (Job 17:15).
I can remember my grandmother saying, “He is as poor as Job’s turkey.” Maybe you’ve heard this expression, too. Where does this saying come from, and what does it mean?
This expression was common in the 1850s. Novelist Matthew Pearl used the saying, “Poor as Job’s turkey,” in his novel The Poe Factor. This novel is set in Baltimore in 1851.
The expression “poor as Job’s turkey,” takes us back to the Old Testament character Job. A righteous and prosperous man, Job had his faith tested by Satan (with God’s permission) and endured unbelievable suffering, including the loss of his children, his livelihood, and his physical health. But Job maintained his faith and trust in God, and eventually, his humility, faith, and perseverance in the face of terrible adversity were rewarded.
Job lost all his possessions. If he had owned a turkey, he would have lost his turkey as well. But Job never owned a turkey, because turkeys are native to Mexico.
In the course of his suffering, Job did ask a compelling question, “Who can see any hope for me?” Maybe that’s where you are today—suffering, dealing with a big-time problem, facing adversity, and you are wondering, Is there any hope for me? From the Scriptures, I direct you to sources of hope.
Hope Comes from God’s Promises
Hebrews 10:23 states, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” The persons who received the Bible’s Letter to the Hebrews were enduring a time of suffering. This Bible verse reminded them of several truths.
First, God is faithful. He never breaks His promises. He never lies. He always does what He says He will do. Second, we must cling, by faith, to the promises God makes to us in the pages of the Bible. God’s promises will sustain us and renew our strength in times of trouble. Third, hope, then comes from professing our faith in God’s promises.
Hope Comes from God Himself
“Our hope comes from God,” says Romans 15:13. How is this possible? God loves you like crazy. When you hurt, He hurts. He really does care for you when life’s problems overwhelm you. God will always “be there” for you. All you have to do is call on Him in prayer.
God has this amazing way of using our problems to grow and mature us. In the midst of whatever issue you are dealing with today, trust Him. Psalm 39:7 asks a question: “Lord, where do I put my hope?” The answer: “My only hope is in you.”
Hope Comes from Jesus’ Death on the Cross
1 Timothy 4:10 says, “We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” This verse calls to our attention the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you and me. He willingly endured crucifixion on a Roman cross. In that cross event Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we deserve because of our sins. He did this so that He could forgive us redeem everything in this world that is broken, including us.
1 Timothy 4:10 encourages us to “believe” in what Jesus did for us. To believe means we commit our lives to Him and we trust Him to help us be the kind of person He wants us to be. Have you done this?
When things are difficult in your life, and you feel like you are suffering as Job did, look to the Bible, to God, and to His Son, Jesus. You will find hope to face your difficulties.