Sometimes the best comfort is your presence not your words. The initial comfort that the presence of Job’s friends brought quickly vanished. When going through a crisis, people need basic care – safety, sustenance, and compassion. It has been said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
We don’t always understand. Job, in spite of serving God faithfully, suffered intensely. Even though his friends desperately tried to point out a cause to Job they failed. His wife offered nothing but despair and suicide as an answer. Job didn’t know why these calamities came. In the end, Job is restored but God never tells him the provocation for his actions. Until the day when God deems it appropriate for our understanding to be enlightened, we walk by faith and not by sight.
Life is not about me. In contrast to when Job endured his calamities, almost universal compassion is extended to Job. Yet he suffered so intensely that hardly anyone can sympathize with his grief. Why did God allow Job’s life to be tormented by the enemy? It may come as a shock to our sinful hearts, but God is primarily concerned about fulfilling His purposes in the lives of His people—not satisfying our every want. As confidence in God grows, then the believer can rejoice that God knows best – His way is perfect.
God is always in control. This truth is our comfort in the most unbearable calamity. If we don’t know the answers, we can trust. If the burden is too great, we can rest in His mercy. “Whatever Satan’s liberty in unleashing calamity upon us, God never drops the leash that binds his neck.” As Job cried out, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). God’s children often are unaware of the next step in God’s plan, but we can never doubt Who holds the future – and He is Good!
No circumstances excuse us from faithfulness to God. Satan did not believe that Job would be faithful to God during his affliction. Job’s own wife declared that it was worthless to continue trusting God. Job was definitely confused and under intense physical and emotional stress, but he clung to His God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15). Job’s story not only vindicates Job’s righteous standing before God, but, more importantly, his story vindicates God as worthy of worship, honor, and obedience solely based on Who He is.