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A Week in the Book of Job: Part Three

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhiteand Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Job 2:9-12 New International Version (NIV) We have to catch ourselves sometimes. We offer advice to others as if we know things we don't. What we do know is that God is good. His mercy endures forever. He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. God is love. Anything we deliver that is contrary to the ways of our living and loving God is not of God but from our own deceitful hearts. We can do much damage conveying our sentiments onto others, especially when they are based on our own fears. We are all works in progress and God is doing the work. Our good intentions can even be dangerous because we are not equipped for judgment no matter how nicely or Godly we try to relay it. Somehow, who we are gets in the way of truly helping someone else. That's why we are instructed to pray and seek God's counsel in all things and not rely upon our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). He is very able to bring clarity to any situation. Job's wife and his friends all had their own issues and none of them were in on the secret of what was happening to Job. His wife was grieving because she had lost everything too. The way Job responded to her is to be admired. Makes you wish Adam had been as strong in the Lord when Eve invited him to share that piece of forbidden fruit! His friends came to offer comfort but over 35 chapters later, they were still debating about what Job must have done wrong to make God so mad at him. This is where humanity defeats our understanding of the problems another may be facing. It becomes a syndrome that makes us feel: "If this could happen to him for no reason, it could happen to me. So he must have done something wrong!" It is the same sentiment we sometimes apply to those we see begging along the road when in reality many of us are just as close to being just as homeless as they are if we don't get that next pay check. We needed a Savior and thank God for sending His only Son. On our best days, we still need help even when trying to help someone else. Jesus taught us that we are to meet others at their needs not our own. When we learn to truly help each other to get through troubles, there will be fewer troubles had by all. True help takes love and prayer. Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:1-4 NLT

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