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True Friend of Job // by Olivia Hall

By April 23, 2018All Posts

The Life & Story of Job

 

You may have heard the saying that, “hard times will always reveal to you who your true friends are”, and this could not be truer for the life of Job. He was a man known to be:

 

Blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

Job1:1

 

He was a man committed and determined to live righteously before the Lord. It is only natural that we would assume that God’s protection and blessing would be on his life. But we quickly find out that the story is just the opposite.

 

Amidst the Satan’s accusations about Job’s faithfulness, God allows Satan to strike out against Job. Knowing that Job would stay faithful and trusting. The story progresses, and Job’s once picture-perfect life is now filled with death, famine, poverty, and sickness. Job, having every natural-seeming right to lash out against God, puts his trust in God regardless of his circumstances:

 

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job 1:21 ESV

 

We can all relate to Job’s story on some level – Have you ever had a season where things just keep going wrong? That no matter how hard you you pray or adjust your attitude, things just go against you. It feels as though God’s omnipotent hand is nowhere to be seen.

 

Satan continues to attack Job and his hope begins to dwindle. Job cries out to the Lord in pain and confusion, as we all would. A critical shift happens here as Job’s three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar begin to share their opinions with Job’s circumstances.

 

Here, in the crux of our story, we must cling to a crucial lesson: The promise of God’s plan for your life is not contingent on the circumstances you presently see in front of you.

 

While Job’s friends try to help him understand God’s absence, they miss the truth entirely. Their human-nature and doubting hearts end up pushing Job further away from the promises he knows to be true!

 

The Importance of Friends During Hard Times

 

Job’s story teaches us these few tough-to-swallow truths about our friendships and our lives:

 

First: God may speak a promise over your life, and you may not see that promise for a very long time. At times, it may even seem that your life is going the opposite of that promise from God!

 

Second: as a faithful follower of God, like Job, it’s your job to preach the reality of God’s words to the naysayers, and to hold tight to the encouragement of true friends who remind you that God is in control, God is all-knowing, and God does all that he does from a hand of love.

 

Amidst Job’s three friends trying to convince him that he must have sinned to receive such a punishment, or maybe God has even abandoned him, Elihu, the youngest of them all, is the only one to remind Job that perhaps Jobs suffering is because God loves him.

 

But let me tell you, Job, you’re wrong, dead wrong! God is far greater than any human. So how dare you haul him into court, and then complain that he won’t answer? God always answers one way or another, even when people don’t recognize his presence…God might get your attention even with pain.”

 Job 33:12-19 MSG

 

Third: while there are many friends who are willing to commiserate with you over your circumstances, God always provide a friend who has the wisdom and the confidence to remind you of the goodness and unchanging love of our Father:

 

Oh, Job, don’t you see how God’s wooing you from the jaws of danger? How he’s drawing you into wide-open places – Inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings?

 Job 36:16-21 MSG

 

Elihu’s words echo true in all of our hearts, reminding us that God is faithful no matter the circumstance, no matter how life may feel.

 

As our story ends, God comes to Job, and rebukes every friend’s opinion except for Elihu’s. What a testimony is that to Elihu’s persistence in speaking truth to his friend!

 

Dear women of God, while this story of Job’s life may ring true for some of us, it also tells us something crucial: Friends are important, but in the hard times of life God’s unconditional love must be what drives us. Cling closely to those around you, like Elihu, who are unafraid to preach the light in the dark places, and in the end, you’ll be so thankful that you did.

 

Featured Photo by: Allison Mims

 

 

 

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