May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Probably one of the more challenging things we face, is trying to comfort someone who is really hurting. Here is an idea that you may never have thought of – straight from the Word of God! Try to read the whole devotional, and look for your blessing, friend!………
Today’s Scripture: “Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him. When they first caught sight of him, they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.”
Job 2:11-13 MSG http://bible.com/97/job.2.11-13.msg
My Take Away: In a recent study I shared with you how Job’s wife tried to comfort Him by telling him to curse the God who brought so much trouble on him. Of course we know that Job absolutely refused to turn his back on his God. In this scripture today I found a few things very interesting:
- Unless we are careful in reading this scripture, we may think that Job’s friends must have picked up their cell phones and collaborated on the best time for their visit, right?!!! Well, in all seriousness, we know that was not the case! So for these guys to leave their homes in various parts of the country, don’t you suppose that this was a part of God’s plan to bring this concerted comfort to His humble servant in his time of need? Our application: This should bring comfort to us, because we must believe that the God of Job – our Heavenly Father, our God, will also do the same for us in our times of desperation and need;
- The hearts of these three friends were so sensitive to the needs of Job, that they saw his desperation from a distance and was immediately impacted in deep empathy for their friend. Our application: I feel like we are way too distracted in thinking about our own struggles, and what scenario in our life could top the circumstances of the friend who is sharing, or about to share his or her needs or struggles with us. We have to learn to be good listeners, without worrying about whether we might have a good answer or solution for our friend, or the need to share our needs with them so they won’t feel alone in their struggles. A friend will listen and even repeat what they thought they heard, so that the friend in need would know that you are taking in everything they are saying.
- The friends joined Job where he was at – on the ground, and just sat there with him – quiet – for one…. two….. three…. four…. five….. six….. seven whole days in total silence. Our application: When we say to a friend that we will stop by and visit to help bring comfort to them, how long are we prepared to visit? Can we possibly keep our sanity for seven days in total silence with three other wonderful friends around us? What about our digital devices? If we value the quality of quiet time with a friend in need, surely we won’t be rude enough to sit in their presence on our cell phone or tablet, right? Isn’t this something to think about friend?
So I believe the challenge for us today from these Words of truth, is to stop and think about those in need of comfort, and to not shrug off our responsibility, or calling, to be there for them but to allow the Holy Spirit to direct us as we visit. It may be through an encouraging word that we bring comfort to a friend, or it may just be our presence, without any words at all. Either way, we are expressing our desire to be there for our friend, and being obedient to God in saying only what He ordains.
Prayer: Father, I believe that each reader will recognize that they have been on both sides of this scenario at one time or another in their life. Please help us as a patient, or person in need, to welcome friends when we would rather just be alone, for often God has seen our need and sent some friends over to encourage us. As a visitor, please help us to stop finding excuses and actually go out and visit, then as we visit to remember our purpose for visiting is to encourage the one that we visit, and not spend the time relaying our lifetime of struggles. Especially challenging will be the possibility of just sitting in silence, if that serves a purpose. So Lord, please especially help us in that regard. Bottom line is that we share Your love, Your concern, and Your touch through our visit, so that You may be honored and praised, while also being of encouragement to our friend. These are challenging Lord, so we desperately need Your help, guidance and direction in these circumstances Lord. Thanks for Your assurance of always being with us! May we learn to get out of the way so that You may work a miracle in the life of our friends that we visit. AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!