Just as Job made a difference, you
can make a difference in the lives of others -- in
your family, school, church, community, and world!
The world needs you -- your ideas, your compassion,
and your spiritual outlook. And, it's never too late
to start contributing. The best gifts are those from
The story of Job is just that -- a story, a long poem,
a drama to which we can all relate. We've probably
all suffered at some point in life, and we've probably
all wondered why. Job is a good man, and God is proud
of him. But Satan thinks that if everything is taken
away from Job, he will curse God and lose faith in
God. So, God, believing in Job's goodness, allows
Satan to destroy Job's children, livestock, wealth,
employees, servants, reputation, marriage, and health.
Finally, Job gets fed up. He wishes he has never been
born. He doesn't understand why all these terrible
things are happening to him, because he has led a
good and blameless life. He wants an answer directly
from God. The common belief among Job's people is
that God only hurts people who have done wrong. Job's
friends assume that Job has committed sins, or else
he wouldn't be suffering so much, and tell him so.
His friends tell Job to fess up, to admit his sins,
and to beg forgiveness of God. As you can imagine,
Job does not find a lot of comfort in his friends'
words. Finally, God speaks directly to Job, and Job
is awed by God's power. He learns about God directly
from God. And then God scolds Job's friends for not
being honest and tells them that Job will pray for
them. God restores and blesses Job's life even more
Make a Difference
There are some interesting lessons to be learned from
the story of Job that we can apply directly to our
own lives, which will make a difference for ourselves
and for our friends. (All of the following Bible citations
from Job are from Eugene Peterson's The Message.)
What Job does, we can do for ourselves:
- Job refuses to let others opinions of him shake
his belief in himself.
- Job knows he has led a good life. He says,
"I'm blameless" (9:21).
- Job knows "honest words" can't hurt
- Job stands up to his friends.
- He tells them that they aren't helping him
- He tells them that they're lying about him
and not being honest about God (13:4).
- He stands up for himself and his integrity.
- He refuses to let his friends make him feel
inferior. He tells them: "I also have a
brain -- I don't intend to play second fiddle
to you" (12:3).
- Job says, "I'm not letting up -- I'm
standing my ground" (23:1).
- Job tells his friends, "I refuse to
say one word that isn't true. I refuse to confess
to any charge that's false. There is no way
I'll ever agree to your accusations. I'll not
deny my integrity even if it costs me my life.
I'm holding fast to my integrity and not loosening
my grip -- and, believe me, I'll never regret
it" (27:5, 6).
- Job goes "straight to God Almighty"
and wants to hear from God rather than his friends
- Job listens directly to God and learns about God
- He admits to "second-guessing" God
and apologizes for that (42:2).
- He says he had listened to "rumors"
about God and promises to listen to God "firsthand"
- He is "convinced" that God "can
do anything and everything" (42:1).
We can comfort our friends. From the mistakes
of Job's friends, we can learn how to help our own
- "Console and comfort" our friends; "make
things better, not worse!" (16:5); "stick
with them" (6:14).
- Listen to our friends. Don't give them rehearsed
and superficial speeches or "pious bluster"
- Take care of our friends' feelings. Don't treat
their "words of anguish as so much hot air"
(Job 6:26). Don't treat them as things.
- Don't point out our friends' faults. That's the
last thing they need. Rather, we need to look at
our own lives and make sure we are aligned with
- Treat our friends as intelligent. Don't make
them feel inferior and put them on the defensive.
- Trust that our friends are listening to God and
can hear His words. We are not the only ones who
listen to God.
- Believe in our friends.