I have been blessed on my thirty years on this planet to have some amazing friends at amazing times. I have some who I have know since I was six years old that I still talk to and there are those who I really only became friends with over the past couple of years. Each variety I do treasure dearly, especially when there are the times that I struggle with something. During these struggles, I have encountered many reactions and how to handle a situation. Never have I been “helped” the way Job’s friends were treating him.
During Job’s time, it was thought that if something bad happened to you, God would take personal anger on this and punish you. Here, that is not the case. God and Satan are in a discussion about Job. God shows him off as one of his most faithful followers. The Satan thinks he only serves God because he is so wealthy and consumed with material items. Satan tries to prove his point by taking away everything from Job. Through it all, Job sticks with God.
Job is a man who had a book in the Bible written about his experience with losing everything. After Satan takes everything away from Job in the first few chapters, Job starts trying to figure out why he is going through something like this. He curses the day he was born and asks why he did not die at birth. He gets into questioning God and God giving him everything and then taking it all away, just like that. Then chapter four comes around.
His friends start to talk to him about Job screwing up and how he thought he was greater than the almighty. If he simply admits to his friends that he was wrong, God will forgive and show mercy on him. They go back and forth with this between the three friends for almost thirty chapters. They argue and each side thinks he makes a point. Then a fourth friend joins and he is not too thrilled with either side. He does make one very strong point though that hits home with Job as he prepares in his final discussion with God. The point is that God, even through all the suffering that Job is going through, is STILL teaching and loving Job.
How many times has something happened in our lives and we get so wrapped up in the situation, that we forget God has it under control? My wife was going through a tough situation last year while living in Phoenix, AZ. I had tried to encourage her many times and thought she was doing better. But we sat down with the pastor at our church and he asked, “Are you seeing God blessing you THROUGH this suffering?” It hit both of us like a ton of bricks. What was God teaching us through the pain she was going through? That was a little different than my response to the issue, which I am thankful for because of what it taught me.
There are times that us as friends see someone close suffering and in pain. We see this is an opportunity to come in and save the day. What we have to remember who is doing the saving. In good times and especially in bad times, if we remember that He is steering the wheel, all we have to do is move along with Him.