Have you ever wanted to die? Did you ever feel like there was nothing left to live for? Wishing you had never been born? I think most of us could probably remember a time like that in our lives although most of us, looking back, would probably also have to admit that we were being overly dramatic. If you wished that you would die because your girlfriend or boyfriend broke up with you, you were definitely being a drama llama! Job wasn’t. He really didn’t have anything left on earth that was good. He had said “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” He really meant that. All that the LORD had given, the LORD had taken away. Job’s livelihood, his riches, his family – all were gone. And so in chapter three he mourns, he wishes for death. And let’s get one thing really clear – there’s nothing wrong with that. If you have ever felt like Job did (even if you were being overly dramatic), you are really just agreeing with God. After all, when He was here on earth in human flesh with human emotions, he too felt sadness even despair! He wept bitter tears at the tomb of His friend Lazarus (even though he knew he was about to raise him from the dead), His soul was “very sorrowful even unto death” the night before His crucifixion. You might have heard someone say that since Christians are to rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), they should therefore never be sad. That’s not true. One can be sorrowful and joyful at the same time. Back to Jesus who was very sorrowful even unto death and yet Hebrews 12:2 says that He went to the cross “for the joy that was set before Him!”
In fact, for the Christian, the desire to die is in itself an expression of joy! Paul said (even while he still had things to live for) “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23). When we feel the pain of the corruption of sin in this world and seek death as Job did we are doing so in joy for the life which has been promised and sealed to us in the blood of Christ Jesus. We hear John’s Words and long for their realization: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
But notice, Job is not suicidal. For the Christian, suicide is never the answer. When you feel like you have nothing left to live for, know that it is ok for you to long for death, to long to be with the LORD. That’s the goal of your life after all! But remember too that God is the one who decides when it is time to come home. There may yet be bright days ahead even if you can’t see them. And even if all the years of your life are lived under a cloud of despair, the time will come when those clouds are lifted forever. For this short momentary affliction is nothing compared to the eternal weight of glory that is yours in the forgiveness of sins.