“For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”- Job 6:14.

Prosperity, fame, affluence bring with it many “friends.” People who like to be associated with “success.” Success of others and their ability to be close to them, somehow enhances their own sense of importance. But there is nothing like affliction to see the exposure of such friends. Like rats scurrying off a sinking ship or rodents fleeing back into the cracks of a wall when a light is flicked on, often under the loss of a man or woman’s wealth, status true Friends are known and other “friends” are exposed. Job had lost his children, wealth, status and found himself “afflicted,” in great pain emotionally. physically. At such time he looked for some kindness, understanding, hope from his “friends” and instead found the opposite. They did not know nor did Job know “why” this had happened. {God had said in chapter 1 “have you considered My SERVANT Job?” satan had said Job was only serving the Lord for what He was giving to him… Job was then put on display to the Unseen realm, angels and demons alike…. and at one stage when his wife had said “curse God and die…” he refused and said “though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” Character in the furnace being developed and displayed. God never told him “why” but generations have read of a man under trial, not perfect but seeking to follow Him, in his pain.}

 “To him that is afflicted – Margin, “melteth.” The word here used (מס mâs) is from מסס mâsas, to melt, flow down, waste away, and here means one who pines away, or is consumed under calamities. The design of this verse is, to reprove his friends for the little sympathy which they had shown for him. He had looked for consolation in his trials, and he had a right to expect it; but he says that he had met with just the opposite, and that his calamity was aggravated by the fact that they had dealt only in the language of severity. Pity should be showed from his friend – Good renders this, “shame to the man who despiseth his friend.” A great variety of interpretations have been proposed of the passage, but our translation has probably expressed the true sense. If there is any place where kindness should be shown, it is when a man is sinking under accumulated sorrows to the grave.” – Barnes

Job’s”friends were sure they knew “why” and were not slow in letting him know. Why is it that we “feel” we have to know the answer to the “why.” Something within us that is not comfortable with not knowing the answer to the “why.” We see someone in front of us in pain and our question in our mind is “why”  and not “how.” How can I help you. I once heard,”show me the compassion of a man and  will show you his usefulness.” Job’s friends lacked compassion. They added to Job’s pain. It is often in pain and loss that  friendship is revealed for what it truly is, shallow, loss of “friends” because you are no longer able to meet their needs so they move on seeking someone else. You have out served your purpose. In Job’s case his “friends” added to his pain. Under pressure and in pain Job had discovered the truth about his friends while he was in the furnace of affliction…

As I write I think about a dear widow, who remarked the phone rang constantly while her husband was alive who constantly ministered to people. But since His graduation to be with the LORD the phone does not ring like it once did… people don’t call. She still is alive…Is there no compassion for her? Is there no gratitude toward her who gladly allowed her husband to go seek the souls of men and help the saints? She did not hold him back but gladly denied herself of his company so he could be about the Master’s pursuit of souls. They were a good team. But she is forgotten by many a “friend” to this day…I am sure she will have a big number of people who will show up then, but she could do with them now.

SORROWS come in different waves- the loss of a loved one, a chronic debilitating illness, the loss of a Job, bankruptcy. Scripture teaches “a friend loves at all times.There is a brother BORN FOR ADVERSITY.”



Let us not fall into the trap of trying to figure out “WHY” – often to satisfy our own curiosity or feel like we have to understand when in reality we need to express understanding  by asking “HOW.” How can I help you? WHAT is it that I could seek to do for you to express my love for you, not with mere words but with deeds of kindness.  Is there someone you know who is in need of kindness who is in a painful place? ARE YOU A FRIEND that walks towards not seeking to understand “why” but coming with a heart of love that says “HOW….. HOW Can I help you, that would truly be a HELP TO YOU.”

People suffer, and often are so blessed to have friends who show them kindness. Others don’t. DON’T ASSUME that others are reaching out to the one who is afflicted. DON’T Wait till their funeral to STOP and make time, by that time it’s too late!  Job needed “kindness,” compassion, kind words, deeds, to be able to have someone who genuinely cared for him and would be there for him and carry his burdens and cares, instead he got the opposite.

What kind of “friend” DO YOUR DEEDS SHOW YOU TO BE?

Do you walk away from your friend or do you walk towards them with a heart that says “How can I help you?” It is often in affliction, sorrow, loss that the one experiencing the pain sees who his or her “friends” truly are!

A GOOD VERSE TO WRITE OUT ON A  3 BY 5 CARD and carry with you. When you have time read,re- read,commit to memory, and seek to apply.

“For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”- Job 6:14.