Today you should read: Job 16
Have you ever set out to be helpful but only seemed to make things worse? I know that I have done that plenty in my life and I am sure you can think of times where you have done this as well. All any husband needs to hear from his wife are the words, “do you think I look fat in this?” and we freeze. We know that the next words out of our mouth better be the right ones or we will be apologizing for the rest of the evening. It feels like the equivalent to being on final jeopardy with the clock ticking and that famous tune playing.
The funny thing, or not so funny thing, about Job’s friends is that they came to him as comforters. However, they did a miserable job lifting up their friend’s spirits. Instead, they made him feel as if he was completely alone in this world. Job’s exact words to his friends were, “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.” This was not the intention of his friends. They meant only to help. Even when they were calling him to repent it was so that God would turn his wrath away from Job.
What can we learn as comforters from Job and his friends?
1. The best comfort comes only from the Lord.
As Job points out in verse 19 the only one who knows why Job is facing this trial is God himself. Job’s friends should have spent more time encouraging him in the word and praying for him rather than accusing. When one of our brothers or sisters in Christ is going through a trial we do not need to assume sin. It is ok to ask questions and understand the circumstance and rebuke if sinful choices and habits exist. However, even in circumstances of sin we should seek to restore in gentleness and love (Galatians 6:1).
2. We must comfort through the hope in Christ.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
3. We must comfort with the reality of our own suffering in mind.
Many of us have been through tough trials and it is those very trials that make us the best comforters (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). As we find our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ we are able to empathize and comfort others with the same hope we have experienced.
Let each of us be the type of godly comforters that our friends seek out, not avoid.
Posted by: Chad Wiles