“For The Despairing Man”
In the book of Job there is a very pertinent but very specific and direct injunction given to mankind in general and to the godly in particular, which states:
"for the despairing man there needs
to be kindness from his friends
lest he should forsake the fear
of Almighty God, and turn away"
This scripture is stating that if a man loses his way because of calamity, or crisis and finds himself in the pit of despair, what he will need is care compassion and understanding shown to him with tenderness, because without it, his or her fragility can cause them to lose all hope and some will even terminate their lives. You see there is a progression that takes place when one experiences rejection of any kind, some can handle it better than others but this is usually the progression.
Dejection or loss leads to disappointment, then the disappointment turns to disillusion which then turns to despondence and in turn depression. If depression is not alleviated in the life of the individual then depression becomes despair and despair will end in suicide. If that assurance and restoration of confidence is not given or displayed to him or her when they have hit the wall, and if they do not find themselves in their confusion they sometimes never will.
They need help to face their dilemma and to assist them with their time of healing and recuperation. Many no longer even believe that God has so much as a compassionate thought for them and a large part of that is accentuated because they also have never been given the sense of self worth and dignity they needed when they were children.
Because of this when their life with all of its fears and insecurity is shaken their frail life line of faith along with its simple belief and trust in God Almighty will be sorely tested and without encouragement they can be embittered and damaged for ever maybe irreparably. If you have ever been in a period personally such as is described above, you will know how deep the trauma and hurt can be. Sadly, many close down their emotions from that moment on, and never allow their hearts to be opened again because of broken trust.
It is a tragic experience to meet with people who have been so deeply hurt, that their emotional being and spirit is so utterly broken and damaged that it has closed their whole individuality and personality completely down. They can no longer express themselves or speak of their hopes and dreams any more, they can not remember many parts of their childhood and past life.
It is like they have reached the end of their lives before their time, and at the moment of their crisis their lives have stopped and ceased. Frozen in time if you like locked to their past and at that moment their lives are no longer focused on a future, as for them now there is no future just a past. They are immobilized, imprisoned and trapped to the destructive images in the memory that can not be erased until forgiveness and self condemnation can be exorcised from their lives.
It is very interesting to note also that it was Job also who states in chapter ten, that when a person is in such deep despair that their minds becomes even closed to believing that good could ever become part of their life and experience again. Job states "For even if He had heard me when I cried unto him yet I would never have believed it was so, for he multiplies my wounding as his hand is heavy against me" What Job is trying to explain here is when you see continuous trial and disappointment surrounding you and you call out to God for help, If you do not have people to lift you up and support you in your desperation you will be blinded to Gods intervention.
You will like Job declare, I could not believe for one minute that God cared about me because all I could see was the pain and the hurt of the trial and my mind refuses to believe that God is even interested in me.
For the despairing man there aught to be kindness from his friends lest forsake the fear of almighty God and turn away. It is imperative for each of us that we know not just the theory of Gods love but the reality of it, and sometimes we need too reach out with sensitive compassion and be Gods hands, mouth and feet to those who need them. Men can not see God in times like that, but they can see you and I and we need to be Christ to them.
Today’s world does not allow us to be one another’s keeper but that is exactly where the church should differ from the world in general. The church is full of lonely people, everywhere you go around the globe the saints are isolated from one another and extremely lonely. The sad part is that no one now in the western church seems to realise anything is wrong except the people who themselves are lonely and they are numerous.
Our way of life is such, that we are so busy , and as a result of this hectic activity and pace, not only do we not have time to notice and consider those who are lost and forsaken, but we also are largely ignorant and unaware of them. For today’s psychology is to try and fix a persons problem after it has happened, as there is little time or heart to anticipate it and address it beforehand.
If only we the church of Jesus Christ would take the challenge given by the Lord to slow down and not be so caught up in the things of this world which in turn would enable each of us to be mindful of others around us. Then perhaps we might look into peoples hearts and not just their eyes and thereby witness or observe the hurt and the pain and not just the burden they may be and the draw of effort it may place upon us. In actual fact the words of the Lord charge us to be always ready to minister to the needs of those around us.
The Bible stresses the point that we are to be given to hospitality at all times to entertain total strangers because we do not know who we are ministering too and could be serving angels of God sent to us of whom we are unaware.