Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
God instructs us that he is the God of all comfort, who comforts us so we can comfort others with the same comfort.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God…the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
We don’t comfort or help others by our opinions, by putting them down, or being unkind. Everyone needs comfort at times. Comfort is the easing of a person’s feelings of grief and distress, easing the body and the mind sufficient to satisfy. God promised he won’t give us more than we can handle when we come boldly to the throne for mercy, help, and grace.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we…Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace…obtain mercy…grace to help in…need.
Through patience and comfort of the scriptures, we have hope. The scriptures comfort us when we’re afraid or upset.
Romans 15:5-7 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another…That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God…Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us…
The comfort God gives us in suffering is so we can comfort others. God doesn’t want us to be a sponge – constantly taking in and just sitting. We can be a sponge by reading the word, listening to gospel music, listening to services but never giving out. God wants us to be a watering can that gives the word from his springs of living water. It isn’t giving out our opinions, ideas, how we think this problem can be solved, or criticism. It’s giving comfort through the word.
II Corinthians 1:5-7 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings…or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation…as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so…be also of the consolation.
Paul was in a dire situation. He was comforted with exceeding joy by the word when Titus came and by a good report that others praying for him. It’s encouraging to know someone is praying and it helps lighten the load of hard trials.
II Corinthians 7:4-7 Great is my boldness…toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia…we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God…comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; And…by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire…fervent mind toward me…
Job was perfect, upright, had no sin in his life, feared God, and eschewed (avoided) evil (Job 1:1). God allowed the devil to take everything to try Job and prove he would not curse God. Job spoke hard things in his pain and wished he died at birth.
Job 3:1-3 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day…said, Let the day perish wherein I was born…
Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Job’s grief felt like the weight of all the sand of the sea. His children were killed, everything was gone, and he had boils all over.
Job 6:1-4 But Job…said, Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Job’s friend Eliphaz misinterpreted what Job said. He accused Job of sin and said that was why Job was suffering.
Job 4:7-9 Remember…who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?…I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and…are they consumed.
Eliphaz said Job should be happy that God was correcting him. Satan attacked Job and conspired against him with his three friends to get Job to curse God. Job won’t do it because his heart was settled to obey.
Job 5:17-18 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
Job 5:27 Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.
Job’s friends found fault with what he said in his grief. People in grief say a lot of things that are out of context because of grief. We need to see anger and despairing words come from a person’s grief and anguish, not from a heart that isn’t perfect.
Job 15:5-6 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity…Thine own mouth condemneth…thine own lips testify against thee.
Bildad said Job’s children died because they were sinners. He said Job must have sinned or God would help him.
Job 8:1-6 Then answered Bildad…how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment?…If thy children have sinned…and he have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest…make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright…he would…make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
Job 8:20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
Zophar wanted God to condemn Job and said he was getting his portion that was less than he deserved.
Job 11:5-6 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And..shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
Job 20:27-29 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity…The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.
Zophar said if Job repented, his misery would be gone. Grief doesn’t go away like that.
Job 11:14-17 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away…For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot…be stedfast, and shalt not fear: Because thou shalt forget thy misery…as waters that pass away: And…thou shalt shine forth…as the morning.
Job said his friends were miserable comforters. Job said he would strengthen them if they were in the same situation. We need to comfort others in grief or hard trials with the word – not condemn, find fault, or criticize. Job’s friends didn’t have any sympathy or compassion. They were selfish, heartless, without mercy, and cruel.
Job 16:1-5 Then Job…said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? …I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
Job reproved his friends for the 10 times they vexed his soul with their words.
Job 19:1-3 Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
Job had confidence he was serving God and knew his redeemer was living. When he couldn’t see God anywhere, he was sure God knew where he was. Job purposed in his heart to keep God’s commandments and not decline from them. He knew God was testing him and he was determined to stay true.
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and…shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God…though my reins be consumed within me.
God let Job’s friends know he was angry that they hadn’t spoken right and needed to repent. God was faithful to Job in the end but Job had to stay true to God regardless of their accusations. In your mind there’ll be discouraging things and that’s why we have to stand on the word and get comfort in the word, knowing God has never failed and he’s going to keep us through the hard times God wants us to be comforters to others and to have compassion and pity. Compassion is sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of others with the urge to help. It’s sympathizing deeply. We need to put ourselves in others shoes before we say things. Be careful that we say comforting things and share a scripture has helped us.
Job 42:7-10…after the Lord had spoken…unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take…seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like…Job. So Eliphaz…and Bildad…and Zophar…did according as the Lord commanded them…And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends…Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.