Job 16:5 (CSB): "Instead, I would encourage you with my mouth, and the consolation from my lips would bring relief."

When Job was enduring prolonged, intense suffering, his friends basically told Job that he got what was coming to him. Rather than lifting Job up and supporting him, Job’s friends accused him that his own wrongdoing caused the punishment that he was enduring.

Job’s response to his friends in Job 16:1 was, “You are all miserable comforters.” Job went on to say in verse four that if roles had been reversed, he could have talked like them too. But in verse five, he gives useful insight into what would truly be helpful. Instead of criticizing someone who is undergoing trials and tribulations, Job would encourage and console them with his words to help bring relief.

Who do we know that is going through difficult circumstances right now? Are we criticizing what got them there? Or are we keeping our distance? Let us instead use our words to bring encouragement and relief to their pain.

by Jonathan Ott, Elder

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