In 2010, our family spent Christmas Day with members of our church. We had a great day. It snowed and we spent time sitting on the deck, watching the snow fall and having coffee. Unbeknownst to me, a meeting was taking place back at church to set in motion a plan leading to a call for my resignation. I had no idea it was coming.
Returning from a visit with family, I was asked to meet with four men on New Year’s Eve, one of whom was the guy who had hosted us on Christmas Day. That day resulted in so many feelings: shock, confusion, rejection, you name it. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut by someone I trusted.
One of the things that can hurt us most is being let down by friends.
Job experienced that. Remember that Job was attacked by Satan, and he lost his children, his herds and his health in the process.
Failing Friends (19–22)
Few things cause the pain a failing friend can. In verse 19, Job said, “All my best friends despise me, and those I love have turned against me.” This can happen to all of us. The only thing we can count on is the Lord. Even Jesus’ friends betrayed Him. If your friends have betrayed you, you aren’t alone.
I confess that when I experienced the pain of betrayal, I became bitter. Perhaps you have experienced that pain and became bitter as well. Somehow, we have to get to a point that we don’t allow our hurt to cause us to doubt the love of God.
Living Redeemer (23–27)
In spite of Job’s hurt, he was able to express confidence in God. In verse 25, Job said, “But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust.” Job believed in God. He had questions, but He trusted God. Sometimes we can doubt God; we can question His love. But Job said, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”
We don’t understand everything in life. We don’t know why some things happen. But we know God loves us.
Warning Issued (28–29)
Job warned his friends they too would face the judgment of God: “… because wrath brings punishment by the sword … so that you may know there is a judgment.” The Apostle Paul once said, “Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). People, even those we love and trust, will let us down. Jesus never will.
Recently, a young man purchased a very nice car. He referred to it as his “pride and joy.” I cautioned him: “Be careful about making that your pride and joy,” but he cut me off, saying, “I know … I know.”
Did he know? Likely he did not.
If your pride and joy are anything other than God, they will let you down. Job experienced the failings of sinful humans, and we will as well.
By Gregg Potts, D. Min.
Potts served as a pastor for more than 30 years in Mississippi and Georgia.