Job 42:10 “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
Even through Job’s fair-weather friends, God teaches us a lot about important practical and spiritual truths (see the previous post for an example). This is especially true about our response to adversity, and while we would never want to face the likes of Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad in the midst of our trials, we can learn much from Job’s ultimate response to them.
As Job endured defeat and derision, he rightfully spoke up for himself. Yet, he did not strike back in a mean-spirited or spiteful way. He also guarded against bitterness that would have further compounded his hardships and exacerbated his situation. In the end, Job did something remarkable based on the Lord’s prompting – he prayed for his friends. In fact, the turning point in his circumstances was at the very moment that he prayed for those whose arguments could have created lifelong adversity.
Loving your enemies isn’t easy. Nor is blessing those who curse you, doing good to those who hate you, and praying for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Doing these things is the exact opposite of the traditional ways of this world that are all too evident in a carnal culture that is feeding off of negativity and witnessing a vicious spiral of distrust, division, and divisiveness. Yet, the counter-cultural response of love, blessing, service, and prayer is what Jesus directs us to do; it is what Jesus shows us to do; it is what Jesus did for us!
PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO RESPOND TO ADVERSITY AND ATTACK IN A BIBLICAL WAY THAT IS DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT FROM THE EXAMPLES WE SEE ALL AROUND US IN OUR SOCIETY TODAY. It is in this way that we show ourselves to be children of the Father.
For a related thought, please see: