Most of us will have opportunities in life to offer comfort to those suffering and grieving. Will you be a miserable comforter like Job’s friends or be able to offer “a word fitly spoken” (Prov. 25.11)?
Job 15 & 16
Don’t be a miserable comforter!
Job 15 & 16:
Job’s Miserable Comforters
Eliphaz and Job’s other “comforters” were faced with a dilemma most of us are faced with at one time or another—how to speak truth and yet bring comfort when someone else is suffering.
We can be faced with this dilemma when an unbeliever dies, for example. How do you comfort the family without giving false hope about the basis of salvation? We can’t say we are sure their loved one is in heaven, but we can say that no one knows a person’s heart except God alone. Only He knows what transpired in the past, or even in the days or moments before death. We can encourage the surviving loved one to trust in the goodness and perfect judgment of God.
It’s also an opportunity to share with the family the importance of being sure they are in right relationship with God and not leave their family wondering about them should something tragic happen.
Families also need comfort when they or someone close to them is suffering. This can be because of the illness of a child or spouse, a divorce, or some other tragedy.
In the beginning, often the best thing we can do is just be there … with a hug, a listening ear, or just our presence. What we don’t want to do is lecture them and act like we know what is going on in the mind of God like Job’s “comforters” did. Job ended up calling them “miserable comforters” (Job 16.2)!
As time goes on, though, we may need to help them see the goodness of God in the midst of their difficulties and help them ask the right questions. Questions like: How does God, who is good, want to use this for good in their lives and the lives of their loved ones? How can they learn to rely on God in a greater way through this? How can they bring glory to God in the midst of the trial?
Today’s Other Readings:
The End of the Wicked
This psalm reiterates the truth that Job and his comforters did understand—that ultimately God will destroy the wicked and exalt the righteous. Even though, as in Job’s case, there are times when for no reason immediately apparent to us, the righteous suffer, as well.
Truly Competent Workers
Anyone who has ever had to hire or train others knows how hard it is to find people who really want to become competent at their work. Sadly, many people want a paycheck, but not necessarily a job! So when someone has a good work ethic, he will often rise to the top. But we always need to remember that no matter when, or even if, God promotes us, as with everything else, ultimately we are to do a good job out of our desire to please the One who sees it all!
By Grace Alone
Paul is reminding the gentile believers, and us, not to think we are saved because of some goodness in us, but because of God’s grace alone!
Lord, I pray that You will help us to be good stewards of our trials, to seek to please You in all things, and to remind ourselves daily of the amazing grace through which we were saved!
In the next few days, we’ll look at our impossible calling as believers, how speeding tickets relate to spiritual maturity, and we’ll talk about encouraging, exhorting, and rebuking a brother or sister in Christ in a godly way. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
For further reading:
You can also shop for other books & resources.
Shop All Resources
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!