I’ve been reading the Old Testament book of Job this week.
Are you familiar with this true story?
Good man goes through horrific times.
His 10 children die, his ranch full of animals die.
His wife suggests he turn his back on God.
His three best friends tell him the reason he’s experiencing such horrific physical and emotional pain is because of his sin.
But Job is a godly man.
He has been obedient to God.
And he’s not bitter. But he IS confused.
He can’t understand why he’s experiencing such pain.
Still . . . he remains faithful to God.
The bulk of his story are his three best friends belittling him for days and trying to persuade him to admit that he’s done something wrong.
I don’t know where the saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” came from . . . but it could have birthed itself here. Wouldn’t it have been great if his friends would have simply sat with him? Put their arms around him? Prayed for him?
Check out what’s said in the last chapter of Job’s book:
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 NIV).
Did you catch the key?
After Job had prayed for his friends.
He forgave them, and he prayed for them!
We can’t imagine the emotional pain his “friends” dumped on him.
But Job forgave, AND he prayed.
I want to be the kind of friend . . . the kind of disciple . . .
who will forgive those who hurt me—
and even pray for them.
Maybe that’s the key to God’s blessing of peace.
And deep joy.
Why not go to YouTube and listen to Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness.”
If you haven’t heard it yet, I’ll give you a sneak preview of the beginning:
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…
Is there someone you need to forgive?
It takes too much energy to hold a grudge.
Enjoy God’s deep settled peace by forgiving!
Our pastor reminded us in a recent sermon that the first words out of Jesus’ mouth on the cross were “Father, forgive them…”
The first thing He did was pray.
Susie, I have been going through something lately. I’m very stressed out and I lack patience. I had to forgive someone who hurt me very badly. I forgive that person but it hurt me so bad I really don’t want to be around this person for awhile. I love them so much. Please pray for me.
Amen Susie! I read your posts/blog but sometimes forget to like or comment, please forgive me. You encourage me, bless me with your outlook, but most of all you remind me who my Father is, and who we are in Christ. So I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.