Friday, January 11, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Suffering


Who Needs Enemies When You Have Friends Like Eliphaz?
A devotional by Kristy Horine


“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place – Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him." ~Job 2:11 (NKJV) 

Job understood the truth of this title.

This Old Testament man’s life was good. His kids were all grown up and doing good things, home life was sweet, business endeavors were flooding his accounts with incredible ROIs … then, he lost everything in a day. As if that weren’t enough, his entire body erupted with boils “from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7 NKJV)

For Job, what remained included a wife who encouraged him to curse God and die, and three friends who came and stirred up the ashes of his dreams with hot, accusing breath.

On an infinitely smaller scale, I share Job’s feelings of loss and despair. Every time I’m disappointed as a hope is doused. Every time I receive a rejection letter for the writing. Every time one of my ministry ideas is shot down. Every time a reasonable expectation is unmet, I see a tinge of the darkness.

I’m guessing you might see it, too.

By chapter 22 in Job, I’m counting down how much more I have to read. I mean, how long can this go on? I feel the sting of Eliphaz’s words in 
Job 22:5-11 (NKJV) where he said: “Is not your wickedness great, and your iniquity without end? For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, and stripped the naked of their clothing. You have not given the weary water to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry. But the mighty man possessed the land, and the honorable man dwelt in it. You have sent widows away empty, and the strength of the fatherless was crushed. Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden fear troubles you, or darkness so that you cannot see; and an abundance of water covers you.”
Job, man, you are drowning in wickedness. 
There must be something wrong with you. 

I somehow believed the words Eliphaz said.

With the edges of the darkness closing in, I could see Job stripping people buck naked, withholding water and food, ignoring the widows and crushing the fatherless.

I believed the false accusations. In the span of 22 chapters – 517 verses – I forgot what God said about Job. Let's read Job 1:8
 (NKJV) where the Lord said to Satan: “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

In the midst of your darkness and ashes, in the mire of a multitude of jagged-edged voices, have you forgotten what God says about you? Have you forgotten how deep and high and wide is His love for you?

Scripture tells us:

· For those who repent and believe, they will be saved (Acts 16:31).

· For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).

· For those who are called according to His purpose, He works things out for good

(Romans 8:28).

· For those who are free in the Son are free indeed (John 8:36).

Precious friends, Eliphaz doesn’t know Jack and he doesn’t know God and what the Lord Almighty has said about you.

Push a stick into those ashes and find a little coal there. While you are hurting still, and trying to figure out a way to heal both from what is real and from what is imagined, focus on the thing that glows. It will give you enough light to make it through the night. 


~*~
Author Bio:
Kristy Horine is a Kentucky writer, freelance journalist by trade and creative by God’s grace.

She writes a little bit of everything including poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Her professional and creative work has been published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies in Kentucky and beyond.

Kristy founded 3rd Letter Christian Writers in Lexington, Kentucky in 2015. Read more of her work at www.kristyhorine.com.

1 comment: