READ: Job 20-22. As you read the passage, consider what might have been comforting for Job to hear and what might have left him more hurt than he was before.

THINK: Have there been times when you wished people would refrain from giving you perfectly packaged and Christian clichés in an attempt to console you? “Pray harder.” “You’ll have to persevere.” “Oh, God’s just working on you.” “Search for the sin in your life and get rid of it.” “Obey God.” Maybe you didn’t know what you wanted to hear in your suffering, but that definitely wasn’t it. Sometimes tur comfort comes through silence and a hug.

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar didn’t offer comfot, but instead attempted to convince Job of his sins. This time it was the social sin of neglecting the poor, the hungry, and the naked – none of which Job wad guilty of.

Who are the people you interact with on a regular basis who are suffering emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical pain?

What are some ways you can appropriately comfort them in their pain?

PRAY: Who are hurting people in your life? Pray for them, submitting to God’s guidance for how best to serve and minister to them.

LIVE: Consider a friend or acquaintance who needs comfort. Prayerfully approach the suffering individual, asking God to use you as a healing agent of comfort and hope. Also, ask God to keep you from being someone who merely offers trite words that fall short.

From Eugene Peterson in Solo

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