Finally, let’s share how the Bible book of Job helped. No greater series of disasters befall a person today than those Job experiences. Nevertheless, Job is a figure of hope, of healing, and of transformation. If you’ve not already done so, I hope you’ll become familiar with the book of Job. Then you’ll become what I call myself, a “friend of Job.” I love the book of Job because in it Job is so human, and God is so sovereign.
I envision three senses in which we can call ourselves a Friend of Job.
Like Job’s own “friends,” we may become a friend of Job by acting in a way critical, judgmental, and condemning of others. We have all the answers right up front. We know why people suffer: God is punishing them for their personal sin. But don’t laugh. A lot of people today think, feel, and believe that. Sometimes they even say it to others. Those “friends” of Job hurt more than heal.
Another sense of the term is someone who provides others a lot of listening, understanding, and empathy. Speaking the truth in love, confronting with reality, and giving advice can wait for a more opportune moment. Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, but slow to anger (James 1:19). That’s the sense in which I see myself as a friend of Job. I invite you to join me in that pursuit.
I also use Friend of Job in the sense of a skeptic. I’ll discuss that idea next week.