When Christian friends and family members are going through suffering, it can be natural to want to point them to God and encourage them to trust Him. These are good and right postures to have when dealing with those who are suffering. But what you must be careful is how you go about pointing people to God.
For example, is it wrong to remind people of God’s promise in Romans 8:28, that God works things for good for all who love Him? This is a truth that Christians can thankfully cling to because of Christ, and it is certainly a truth that can be encouraging in difficult times, but it also takes discernment and wisdom to know if if is a statement that is being said at the proper time. What I mean is that sometimes the most godly thing you can do for someone is to spend time with them, cry with them, and help them process the pain they are going through. Sometimes being reminded of a promise like Romans 8:28 could be exactly what they need; other times, it could be helpful to wait to remind them of this promise until they are at a better place to receive it.
In our passage today, Elihu does an amazing Job of declaring truths about God’s majesty and power. But as we have seen throughout the last few chapters, there is something about his tone and his delivery that gives the impression of lacking empathy and understanding of what Job is going through.
May we as a church not be marked by this. May we strike the balance between both encouraging people to remember who God is, while also showing patience and empathy at the same time.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate