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December 5, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When three of Job’s friends heard of the tragedy he had suffered, they got together and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. When they saw Job from a distance, they scarcely recognized him. Wailing loudly, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief.”—Job 2:11–12 (NLT)
When I see someone cry, I cry. I can’t help it. Whether they’re happy or sad tears, the emotions of others move me to a place of deep empathy as I feel with them and for them. When I see a friend or loved one suffering, I can’t help but be broken with them. I sit with them, cry with them, and listen to them as they let it all out. And this brokenness compels me to do whatever I can to help them, to be there for them, and to bring them a little comfort and joy in the midst of their suffering.
In today’s verse, we see three of Job’s friends come to see him in his time of suffering. They heard about the tragedies that had befallen him, and they knew they needed to come be with him as he walked through this extremely difficult season of grief. What they saw as they approached him in the distance didn’t resemble their pal; he looked like a destroyed shell of a man who had lost everything and nearly everyone he loved and was physically disfigured.
Seeing this, these three men were deeply moved and full of sorrow for their friend. Now, as we’ll discover over the next few weeks, these men weren’t perfect. They had some misguided philosophies, but their care for their friend was genuine.
Their actions—in this passage at least—set a good example for us as believers. 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (NIV, emphasis added) tells us the Lord is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
You see, the idea of being there and comforting others is so deeply biblical. As believers, we’ve received the ultimate comfort from the Lord so we can in turn comfort the hurting people around us. Crying with them, mourning and lamenting with them, and sharing the comfort of Christ . . . it’s a deeply profound privilege we have as children of God. Paul instructs us in Galatians 6:2 (ESV) to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
I pray we take this responsibility as seriously as Job’s friends did. Let’s be so devoted to the people in our lives that we’ll drop everything and be with them in their time of need. Let’s hurt with them, mourn with them, and offer them the comfort of the Lord.
DIG: Why are we called to comfort people?
DISCOVER: Can you recall a time when you were comforted by a friend or loved one? How did it feel? What about a time when you suffered through something all alone? Was one easier to maneuver than the other? Why?
DISPLAY: Today if you’re suffering, let someone know. Don’t suffer alone. If you know someone who is suffering, be there for them and with them.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.