‘How often have I heard all this before! What sorry comforters you are!’ (Job 16:1). With ‘friends’ like this, who needs enemies? This was not what Job needed. He needed ‘words of encouragement’ (Job 16:5). Where does true comfort comes from? It comes from the Holy Spirit - ‘the Comforter’ (John 14:26). If we are to speak words of encouragement, we must listen to the voice of the Spirit. We must learn to speak with His voice, the voice of ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23). Pray that ‘the meditation of your heart’ and ‘the words of your mouth’ will be filled with the Spirit of love. Remember - Without love, our words mean ‘nothing’ (Psalm 19:14; 1 Corinthians 13:1-2). Let there be more love.
Satan is working overtime! He is filling Job with fear. In his state of deep depression, Job says, “God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; for I am hemmed in by darkness, and thick darkness covers my face’ (Job 23:16-17). Where do these thoughts come from? Do they come from the Lord? No! They come from Satan! This is not ‘the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom’ (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). It is a very different kind of fear, a fear which comes from Satan. How are we to overcome this fear? When depression threatens to overwhelm us, what are we to do? Look to the Lord. He ‘has not given us a spirit of fear’. He has given us His ‘Spirit of power and love’. He gives us ‘a sound mind’. Look to the Lord. Let His ‘perfect love cast out your fear’ (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).
Job’s ‘comforters’ are no friends to him. They fail to discern the presence and purpose of God in Job’s life. Job responds to them with biting sarcasm - ‘How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!’ (Job 26:2). They’re hopeless - no help to him at all! Why is their advice so useless? Job challenges them, ‘With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has come forth from you?’ (Job 26:4). Their words do not come from the Spirit of the Lord. They come from Satan. They are his servants. He is using them. He is speaking through them. They are part of his evil plot to destroy Job. No wonder their words are so useless! There is no way the servants of Satan will ever help us to love the Lord better. We need the Word of the Lord spoken in the power of His Spirit.
‘There is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure’ (Job 16:17). Is this no more than Job’s own opinion of himself? No! It is much more than that. It is also God’s view of Job: ‘my witness is in heaven, and He that vouches for me is on high’ (Job 16:19). When suffering comes our way, we can become bitter - blaming God and turning away from Him - or we can become better - ‘the righteous holds to his way, and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger’ (Job 17:9). What makes the difference? - It is ‘God’s love...poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 5:3-5). Seeing our suffering in the light of God’s love, we say, with faith, ‘Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:35-39). Let His love lead you from the bitter way to the better way.