Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The Best Kind of Encouragement
So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. —Job 2:13
When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there” (Matthew 26:36). Then He handpicked Peter, James, and John to go with Him.
Notice that Jesus did not say, “Explain this to Me,” because He didn’t need an explanation. He was God, after all. Nor did He say, “Preach to Me,” because He certainly didn’t need a sermon. He just wanted His friends to stay with them.
Jesus was lonely. Though God and yet man, He was experiencing cosmic, epic loneliness, and He was asking for a little companionship.
This is a reminder that when someone is suffering, one of the best things we can do is just be there. Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
When Job’s world fell apart and he lost everything that was dear to him in a matter of hours, his wife only added insult to injury when she said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Imagine that on a greeting card.
But Job had three friends who showed up, and when they saw Job covered in boils and despondent, they just sat with him and cried. And that was the best thing they could have done for him.
That is often what people really need when they are suffering—someone to just weep with them. We don’t always need to have the answers. The fact of the matter is that we rarely do.
When someone is hurting or suffering, we can actually cause more pain when we try to give people answers. It has been said, “Preach the gospel, and when necessary, use words.” Sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there.
Summary sentence: Sometimes the best encouragement is your presence without words.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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