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True Comfort

Most of us can recall a time when we lost someone or something special. Isn’t it amazing how a loss in one area of your life can alter the way you live your life altogether? Isn’t it startling to see how one loss impacts the way you see others, yourself and even God?

Job loses every earthly thing that brought happiness and meaning to his life. Instead of being consoled by his friends, Job feels tormented by his friends. They try to convince Job that the losses he experienced are directly proportionate to his devotion and obedience to God. The things they said had the potential to completely change how Job thought about his heavenly Father, but Job chose not to believe his friends’ lies.

In chapter 16, Job replies, “I also could speak like you, if you were in my place. I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief” (16:4-5).

If the roles were reversed, Job says he too could insult them and accuse them of sinning. He could judge them and make assumptions about their relationships with God, but Job says he would choose not to. Job tells his friends that if they were going through such a difficult time in their lives he would comfort them. He would speak and act in a way that might bring relief.

Job’s sentiment foreshadows what Paul teaches the early church in 2 Corinthians 1:1-7. Paul says that as Christ followers we “can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (1:5). Our goal is to be a light for Christ in this dark world. A major way we can accomplish this is by comforting those who are hurting. As we strive to be more like Christ, let us remember that all our comfort comes from the Lord, and He has called us to be a comfort to others.

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