Have you ever been misunderstood?  Worse yet, has your suffering or struggle ever been misinterpreted?  We all have a propensity to want to make pronouncements on the sufferings or struggles of others. We, too often, behave as if we have a lock on the direction for and discipline of others.  We behave as if the Lord has privately provided us His plan for those in our life who are suffering.  But we have to be cautious....

Job related the following in today's reading, "Sorry comforters are you all! Is there no limit to your windy words?...I too could speak like you, if I were in your place!...I do not find a wise man among you!...How long will you torment me and crush me with words?"  Job's 'friends' self-righteously believed they knew what motivated God in bringing Job's sufferings.  And they were all too ready to share that with Job!

We are to be compassionate friends as we help those we love walk through their suffering.  Compassion is defined as 'sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.' A good friend does not stand self-righteously aloof but works to mitigate the suffering with both words and action.  Jesus, our example, did just that for us as He 'bore our griefs, was pierced for our transgressions, was crushed for our iniquity, and justified the many'!  Praise be to God!

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If you are a parent or grandparent, you've likely heard something similar to, "Watch, Daddy! Watch!"  Or "Don't forget to come and get me!"  Our children and grandchildren want our attention and for us not to forget them or their accomplishments.  Nehemiah, one of the Lord's faithful sons, was also intent that his Heavenly Father remember his accomplishments.  

In the last chapter of the Old Testament book that bears his name, Nehemiah says three times, "Remember me for this" and "For this also remember me, O my God" and "Remember me, O my God, for good."  Nehemiah had directed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and had instituted changes to bring Temple worship in line with the Lord's directions in the Law.  And he wanted the Lord to remember all that he had done. 

Like our children, we want the Lord to remember our noble achievements. However, we conversely want Him to forget our rebellious acts and inclinations.  David pleads, "Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions..." (Ps. 25:7a). And Jeremiah states, "...I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."  Praise be to God that He forgives the sin of His people  and refuses to condemn them because of what He has provided in Christ Jesus, His Son!

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