The Comfort of Job



Eight Weeks of Grief


On March 14th "Patty", the wife of my professional friend "Jim"’, died suddenly. Her son found her collapsed on the bathroom floor. I went to the emergency room of the hospital and met with "Jim" and his step-son. Paramedics restored her breathing, but her brain was without oxygen too long and she was gone. The hospital went through an extensive amount of professional rituals. They shipped her “life-supported body” down to Pittsburgh where they pulled the plug three days later after deciding she was “brain-dead.” "Patty" was 53 years old.  Her funeral was held at a local Orthodox Church. 

Then he lost his mom on March 30th. She died peacefully at a Regional Hospital. She was there several weeks before her death. She was 87 years old. It was “her time.” Her service was at a Catholic Church nearby.

"Patty"’s distraught twenty-nine year old son signed up with the U.S. Army and left two weeks later. He moved out leaving his step-father alone with the family dog.

Then, death knocks at "Jim" ’s household once again. On May 10th his father dies. He was suffering from the long-term effects of being 87 years old with complications from dementia. It was a duplicate service of last month. The rituals were the same, the liturgists were the same, the musicians were the same: the names were different. One thing that remained, however, for "Jim" is the loneliness, the emptiness and the pain of losing so many, so much in such a short amount of time.

In the midst of this trial two things stand out. He called me last month and said, “I feel like Job.” Thursday as the funeral directors were closing the casket on his dad’s remains for the last time, he motioned for Lois and myself to be there with him. Lois reached up and hugged him. He said tearfully, “With friends like you, maybe I can make it.”

We have God and we have each other.


Pastor Phil    <><<



May 18, 2008

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland


The Comfort of Job


“Job was a righteous man, yet, he suffered incredible loss. The lessons of this 4,000 year old book are still applicable today. Mankind and their pain and suffering have not changed. Our technology is different, that’s all.”                                           Pastor Phil


Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:7



            Written during the building of the Egyptian pyramids

            Lived in “Uz,” located in the NW corner of Arabia

          Wealthy, Influential, Respected Elder

            Seven sons and three daughters

            Position, Possessions, Pius

            Blameless, upright, worshipped God, shunned evil



          A. Satan is not allowed to take Job’s life

            B. Satan’s lying accusation: Job only loves God for God’s ble$$ings

                        1. Satan is limited by God

                        2. Testing is allowed paradoxically because God loves us

                        “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son

whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with

sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you

are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are

illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who

corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily

be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?”  Hebrews 12:6-9


            A. Little comfort from glibly quoted, Romans 8:28

            “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to

those who are the called according to His purpose.”

B. Job trust God without knowing God’s purposes or timetable

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways

before Him. He also shall be my salvation,” Job 13:15,16a

            1. Trust God for who He is, not what He does

            2. Trust God’s in control, especially when we aren’t in control

            “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own

understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct

your paths.”   Proverbs 3:5,6



          A. God creates and uses evil for His own purposes

            “I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird

you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the

sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no

other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create

calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'”  Isaiah 45:5-7

          B. God’s treasures are often found in darkness

            “'I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces

the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of

darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the

LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”  Isaiah 45:2,3

IV.  SATAN’S PLAN OF ATTACK: Home, Family, Health or Work

          A. Satan is redundant: Uses the same attack plans over the centuries

            B. Job’s Sufferings

                        1. The Sabeans attack and murder his servants, steal his

cattle, murder his herdsmen

                        2. Fierce storm collapses his house, killing his ten children

                        3. Job is afflicted with painful sores

                        4. His wife is embittered and is non-supportive

            C. Job confesses and does not deny his pain

            “For my sighing comes before I eat, And my groanings pour out like water.

For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has

happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble


            D. Job refuses to shake his fist at God

            “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"

In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”  Job 2:10b


            A. The “Three Stooges of Counseling”

                        1. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar

                        2. The best thing they do is sit in silence seven days

            B. Three times they accuse Job of sinning

            ”’If you repent. Job, then all this will go away and God's blessing will return'.”

            Paraphrase, Job 4:7

                        1. Job honestly doesn’t feel he has done wrong

                        2. He has no sense of guilt or shame

            C. Miserable Comforters and Counselors

            D. C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”

            “God whispers in our pleasures but shouts in our pain; it is His

megaphone to arouse a deaf world,”



          A. Questions of Sovereignty

                        1. Where were you when I made the world?

                        2. Do you know the end from the beginning?

                        3. Are you able to know that God is working out his purposes?

                        4. Are you God?

                        5. Do you have any right to question God’s justice?

          B. Job Repents humbly

            "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be

withheld from You. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without

knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too

wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You

said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'  "I have heard of You by the

hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And

repent in dust and ashes.”  Job 42:2-6



1.  If you would counsel the bereaved, be silent more and listen more

            “Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom!” Job 13:5

2. Watch out for bitterness in suffering

3. Recognize that God uses suffering for our humbling

4. Realize that suffering is not forever

5. Have faith that God’s in control of all the issues of our life

            "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the

Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also

heal.”               Job 5:17,18










I can't give solutions to all of life's problems,
doubts, or fears. But I can listen to you,

and together we will search for answers.

I can't change your past with all its heartache and pain,

nor the future with its untold stories.
But I can be there now when you need me to care.

I can't keep your feet from stumbling.
I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it
and not fall.

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness

are not mine;

Yet, I can share in your laughter.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make,
nor to judge; I can only support you, encourage
you, and help you when you ask.

I can't prevent you from falling away from friendship,

from your values, from me.

I can only pray for you, talk to you and wait for you.

I can't give you boundaries which I have determined
for you, But, I can give you the room to change,
room to grow, room to be yourself.

I can't keep your heart from breaking and hurting,
But I can cry with you and help you pick up the
pieces and put them back in place.

I can't tell you who you are.

I can only love you and be your friend.         Author Unknown