How Not to Comfort the Hurting

In part two of our series, Grace in Hard Times, we take a look at the conversation among Job and his friends as they wrestle with the awful tragedies that have befallen him.  Their attempts at comforting gradually transform into attempts at condemning him when he won’t play ball with their notions of how the world works.  Along the way, we learn an important lesson on how to approach getting our minds around the hard times we face.  Keep reading to find out what it is.

 

How Not to Comfort the Hurting

Have you ever been sure you were right…until you learned you weren’t?  Tell me if you’ve been here before.  One day we were getting ready to go to the pool and I had asked Noah to go to the garage to get something for us to take.  We weren’t planning on making it a long trip and so to the boys’ disappointment we pretty severely limited the number of toys they were going to be able to take. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 14:23

“So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

We never know when God will use our small thing to accomplish a big one. The Philistines were defeated and Israel had hardly lifted a finger to do it. This was a big, big thing because absent some other kind of divine intervention Israel stood no chance against the Philistines in battle. And yet, this big thing began with a small one. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 2:5

“Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.  The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Put yourself in Hannah’s shoes for a moment. If you are a woman there is a chance you can. She had been barren for years. In spite of much effort, childbearing remained painfully elusive. Meanwhile the woman she was forced to be with all the time seemed to be able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat. They each had the thing the other desired most, though: Peninnah, children, and Hannah, Elkhanah’s heart. Peninnah could at least take solace in her many children. Hannah merely endured the constant scorn of her rival and wondered why God hated her so much. And then she was pregnant. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Samuel 14:6

“Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.””  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Jonathan was nothing if not brave. He had already led an attack on a Philistine garrison which had put his nation in the place that it was. Now he was going to attack another whole garrison with nobody but his armor bearer (which was kind of like a caddie for a golfer) and one sword between them. All of this while his father and the rest of the nation were cowering back in their camp wondering what they were going to do. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 1:4-5

“On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.  But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

We live in a day when the understanding of what marriage is at a definitional level is being lost. We used to know, but as we have gradually jettisoned the cultural influence of the Christian worldview we are losing it. An example of this is the issue of polygamy. Read the rest…