Job Says Friends Are Sorry Comforters
16 Then Job [a]answered,
2 “I have heard many such things;
[b]Sorry comforters are you all.
3 “Is there no limit to windy words?
Or what plagues you that you answer?
4 “I too could speak like you,
If [c]I were in your place.
I could compose words against you
And shake my head at you.
5 “I could strengthen you with my mouth,
And the solace of my lips could lessen your pain.
Then Job makes the understatement of the century, “Sorry comforters are you all.” If you’ve read Job’s story, that’s no surprise, but Job says if he were in their place, he could either tear them down or he could bring them strength and solace with his words. And with all that Job has gone through, I don’t doubt that he could be a good comforter to any friend who might experience hardship.
If you want to comfort someone, it helps to have gone through something that is similar to what they’ve experienced. It certainly isn’t impossible to comfort someone just because you don’t know their pain. But one of the reasons God allows his children to go through hard times is so that they can comfort each other.
So when you’ve experienced heartbreak, and you’re tempted to feel sorry for yourself, hold on! Ask God to use your sorrow for good, so that you can be a comfort and encouragement to someone around you. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so that you can share His comfort with those who are still in the middle of their distress.