hang on and be held

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“If only my words were written in a book— better yet, chiseled in stone! Still, I know that God lives—the One who gives me back my life— and eventually he’ll take his stand on earth. And I’ll see him—even though I get skinned alive!— see God myself, with my very own eyes. Oh, how I long for that day!” (Job 19:25, MSG)

How do you read today’s passage? Do you relate? Is there a times in the past when you could? Do you anxiously await the time when you will have to? Let’s face it, there are times throughout life when it feels like you’re being skinned alive, aren’t there?

Today’s verse comes from a section in Job where Job felt as though his crying and anguish was being ignored. If you’re familiar with Job’s story, Satan challenged God that there was no one faithful to Him in all the earth. God knew Job’s heart, and believed in Him. All kinds of awful things happened to Job, but Job — even through his anguish — knew that God would indeed restore his life. By the end of the Book of Job, Job’s life was indeed restored! That doesn’t mean that everything was peaches and cream to the end, but God was with Job throughout every calamity that befell him.

When we feel as though we’re being skinned alive, I think that’s exactly how we feel. Ignored. Passed over. Cast aside. But Job’s words turn the focus back to God: Still, I know that God lives and will eventually take his stand on the earth. And when He does, I’ll see God with my very own eyes. Oh what a day that will be for everyone feeling as though you’re being skinned alive.

Living with such a posture requires faith. I once described faith to someone going through a time where he felt he was being skinned alive by saying, “faith says hold on for God when everything else says let go.” The man responded, “But I feel like I’m just holding on by the skin of my teeth.” I replied, “Sure, but don’t let go of God, and you’ll find that God never let go of you.” You know what? I heard back from that fellow just a few weeks ago, and he said, “You were right, pastor. God never let go of me, and it helped me let go of my problem.”

Can I get an amen?

If you feel like you’re being skinned alive, or just hanging on by the skin of your teeth, I want to leave you with a promise filled with hope. Check out what Jesus said in John 10:28, “I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand” (MSG).

God has you. Believe it!

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for holding me, even in the times when I can’t necessarily feel it. Forgive me for the times I feel like I’m being skinned alive, and that you’ve abandoned me. I know you are with me forever, and I long for the day I’ll see you stand on the earth with my own two eyes. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.