The most powerful thing you can do for someone may be to simply be there when they need you.
It can be tough to know what to say or how to act in the face of another’s pain. We may offer well-intentioned (but ultimately unhelpful) advice, or simply avoid the situation altogether out of a sense of discomfort or fear. Job longs for understanding and support from his friends, but instead feels abandoned and alone. As we read his words in this chapter, let’s examine our own attitudes and actions towards those who are hurting, and to consider how we might be better listeners, encouragers, and sources of comfort in their time of need.
Read Job 2:11-13:
- How can we learn to be better friends to suffering people, even when we don’t fully understand their pain?
- What role does patience play in being a good friend to someone who is suffering?
Read Job 6:1-13:
- How can we avoid making false accusations or assumptions about a friend’s suffering, and instead listen carefully to their concerns and offer helpful advice?
- When we don’t fully understand a friend’s situation, how can we avoid being judgmental or dismissive of their suffering?
- What might it look like to help a friend who is struggling with their faith in the midst of suffering?
Read Job 6:14-30:
- What does it mean to offer genuine empathy and support to a friend in need?
- How can we be supportive of a friend who is going through a difficult time, even if we don’t share their faith or worldview?
- What can we learn from Job’s friends’ mistakes to avoid being unhelpful or even harmful in our attempts to support a friend who is suffering?
Taking it Home:
- What are some practical ways we can support a friend who is going through a difficult time?
- How can we avoid offering unsolicited advice or attempting to “fix” a friend’s problems when they simply need someone to listen and offer comfort?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Acknowledge God’s sovereignty and wisdom, even when we don’t understand why we are going through difficult times.
- Contrition: Confess any pride or judgmental attitudes we may have towards those who are suffering.
- Thankfulness: Thank God for the friends in our lives who have supported us in times of need.
- Supplication: Ask God to give us the wisdom and discernment to know how best to support our friends who are going through difficult times.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Proverbs 18:14-24
- 2 Chronicles 10
- Acts 15:22-40
- Proverbs 27:5-19
- Ruth 1:8-22
- 1 Peter 4:6-11