by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

The Friend We Need
Faith and Suffering: 3 of 5
Text: Job 6:14-30; Matthew 26:69-75
Tony Nester

When times of suffering come they are always made worse by
loneliness. If we're blessed there will be friends who
offer us some needed companionship, encouragement and care.

But friendship isn't all that common. Many people will walk
in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave
footprints in your heart," said Eleanor Roosevelt. Most of
us would like to have more footprints of friendship in our

We may know a lot of people, but there aren't that many
individuals who have left a mark on our hearts. I recall a
small group exercise where we were asked to imagine being
awake at 2:00 in the morning because we were too frightened
or worried to sleep. Then came the question: "Who would you
pick up the phone and call? Who are you 2:00 a.m. friends?"
Most of us don't have very many names to put on that list.

What we all need and want is a circle of friends. Some of
us will have larger circles than others, but we all need to
be so encircled. Especially in times of suffering.

We're now into a series of messages on the Book of Job.
Much of Job's story is about how badly his friends failed
him. Their names were Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. When
they got the news of all that had happened to Job they went
together to see him. Scripture says that ..

"When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize
him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore
their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads.
{13} They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven
nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that
his suffering was very great." (Job 2:12-13 NRSV)

After seven days Job breaks the silence and cries out in
pain, disbelief, and doubt. He raises the "Why?" question
which we looked at last week. He insists it would have been
better had he never been born. He ...

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