As Christians, we often turn to Job during our hardships for comparison, guidance, and even sympathy because it’s an entire book dedicated to his suffering and the wisdom of God. Job was a man who was upright and blameless before God. We learn more about the character of Job in Job 29: he was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, he was a father to the poor, men listened for his counsel, he sat as a chief and a king in the army, he comforted those in mourning, he was wise. Sadly, though, this servant, when faced with his own trials in life, did not find the same loving care that he showed to everyone else.

Job 16:2-3, “16:1 Then Job answered and said: 2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all! 3 Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?”

Here, Job is rebuking his friends for being miserable comforters and friends. They spent all of their time trying to claim Job had done something wrong to cause these trials to come upon him.

Something for us to be mindful of when our friends face trials is how we approach them and the things we say. People who are in Job’s situation of grief from the loss of family and livelihood already feel so much guilt and pain. Do not be like Job’s friends; you may never understand the reason why something happens, but it’s not up to us to figure it out. Job continues in verse 4, “4 I also could speak as you do, If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you And shake my head at you;” Job has the ability to stoop down to their level of hatefulness and shame him for something he had no control over. He’s telling them he could be just like them, but in verse 5, “5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.” He shows us how he would show his true character instead.

Yes, Job had the ability to be like them, to heap words up against them as they had treated him, but instead, he would do as he had done before for those in mourning (Job 29). He would provide them strength and comfort with his words and try to relieve their grief.

Our words have the ability to build someone up or tear them down. Someone going through a trial is sensitive to the words they speak. Be mindful of that the next time someone is going through a trial.

Some things you can do to help:

If you have a friend going through a trial of any kind, just be a listening ear and let them vent. Sit in silence with them just so they know they aren’t alone. Pray with them and for them. Take them a meal. Invite them to join you to serve someone else because when we serve others, we feel better for doing something good to help someone else.

Heather Jones
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Heather Jones, is a 2019 Graduate of Bear Valley Bible Institute with a Bachelors of Biblical Studies. Her and her husband and family live in Vance, Al where her husband, Matt Jones is the pulpit minister at the Mercedes Drive church of Christ. Heather has a book, Good Grief through Kaio publications. Her hobbies include photography, drinking coffee and hand embroidery.