Is This All There Is?

In answering our last big question, we came to the conclusion that we cannot fix our own problems, but that there is One who can. Now, Job continues in despair and seems to ask, ‘Is this all there is?’.

“Has not man a hard service on earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?”

Job 7.1

Job is feeling like he has been conscripted to fight in a battle that is not his (a hard service), and feels trapped in this position (the days of a hired hand). This is certainly a difficult place to be in. 

Have you ever felt like that? That you have been sucked into a situation and battle that is not your own, or that you are so totally trapped in something you cannot envisage a way out?

At times like this we should look to the most repeated command in the Word and the most repeated promise in the Word, both of which can be found in Isaiah 41,

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Fear not, don’t worry, don’t stress, don’t let anxiety get the better of you, because I am with you.

David Guzik writes on this,

“Years ago, J.B. Phillips wrote a wonderful book titled, Your God is too Small. In it, he showed how when people forget the greatness of God, they easily become dismayed. But God says, be not dismayed, for I am your God.

Job was in a situation that seemed to be world-ending. His circumstances were getting on top of him, he was dismayed, and his thoughts were leading him to conclude that this was all there was ever going to be. This is so easy to do.

But, the command and promise of God tell us something different. There is more. There is One who promises to walk the difficult road with us, to carry us if need be, to join us in the battle, to fight the battle for us.

There was more for Job, and there is more for you.

Spiritual Depression – Fear Of The Future

We are all born different, aren’t we. It is one way we see the wondrous workings of God; all made differently yet able to be so unified in belief, thought, action, heart, and mind. When we think of the future, some are excited, some are worried, some are paralysed with fear, some are confused, so, what do we do?

Importantly, we need to distinguish between thinking about the future well, and worrying about the future unnecessarily. Lloyd-Jones writes that there is a difference between ‘legitimate forethought and paralysing forethought‘. One allows a farmer to plow the field and sow his seed, the other can lead us to a paralysed present because of what-if worries. 

We have talked before about leaving the past in the past, but also just as true is worrying about a future we cannot control. Many times in Scripture we see this idea of ‘think about today, today, and let tomorrow be tomorrow‘ (Matthew 6.25-34 for example). 

When fear of the future strikes us, which it inevitably does despite the varied makeups of our character including those who seem to be unruffled and steadfastly sure, where do we look?

“…God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1.7

The Spirit of power is that which raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8.11), and this power now indwells you as a fully regenerate born-again believer. Now, this is not to say you can go around resurrecting people, but, this needs to be a constant reminder that we give ourselves – the Holy Spirit lives in me, God has given me a spirit not of fear, but of power.

When we are tempted to worry about an unknown future, we must commit our unknown future to a known God as Corrie Ten Boom said. The Spirit of love allows us to know that we are loved by God Most High, that we take the focus off self-love, self-care, self-protection and rest in the fact that the Spirit of love surrounds us, cares for us, and will protect us even from ourselves.

The Spirit of self-control gives us, seemingly miraculously for some, the ability to soak in God’s Word, to understand the timeless truths therein, and to internalise this so deeply that when troubles come, when trials cross our paths, we have a mind that is so saturated with the Word and the truths of God that we can maintain control and not veer off into unnecessary future worry.   

“…God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1.7

Lloyd-Jones closes the discussion on future fears like this,

…to those who are particularly prone to spiritual depression through…fear of the future, I say in the Name of God…talk to yourself, remind yourself of what is true…remind yourself of who you are and what you are, and of what Spirit is within you…and you will be able to go steadily forward, fearing nothing, living in the present, ready for the future, with one desire only, to glorify Him who gave His all for you.