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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.


If all I have to look forward to is a home in the graveyard, if my only hope for comfort is a well built coffin,
Job 17:13 (The Message)

Whew! I’m so glad we settled some things yesterday. God is the author of all comfort, always there to “comfort us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:4a). There is no one I’d rather run to than the Father for a hug when I’m in over my head or have merely skinned my knee.     

 So what happens on the days when I forget how close my heavenly Father is, days when I cannot see His face? Job was having one of those days, make that many more than a few of those days, and his friends were not helping to comfort him in the least. Granted, they came; but they didn’t get it. Silence would have been preferable to useless prattle. No wonder Job calls them “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2). May we never be guilty of such perversity.

 We get a glimpse of Job’s angst as he looks to the grave—a home in the graveyard, a well built coffin, neither a source of hope. He knew better of course. And in the end, when “the LORD answered Job out of the storm” (Job 38:1), Job applauded God’s glory. His confession rings loud and clear: My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5).

 That is the confession we have when we know Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Our hope extends way beyond the graveyard, our resting place not in a rosewood coffin but in the “bosom of Abraham” (Luke 16:22). Jesus’ trip to the cross symbolizes eternal comfort.

However, bad days and troubles will come our way just as they did for Job. We are not immune. In fact, the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives (2 Corinthians 1:5a). But then too, through Christ our comfort overflows (2 Corinthians 1:5b). Once we have experienced the comfort of the Lord, we are capable of comforting others in like fashion.

Ah sweet Jesus, just as we have suffered and been comforted by You, may our comfort overflow to our friends in the midst of their troubles.

Nancy P

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