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one way to be a great friend {Abounding Hope :: Week 4}

By February 18, 2013 April 30th, 2018 13 Comments

abounding hope.005

Deep breath.

So we just finished week 3 of the Abounding Hope study. And…wow. Just…wow. Looking at the life of Job can overwhelm. But the truth is, as long as we’re on this side of Jesus’ return, trials will come. And to see how Job responded (to possibly the most devastating of all trials) can spur us on in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

This week we will take a look at Job’s friends. The friends who tried to comfort and guide Job. “Tried” is the key word. Friends that, sadly, could easily be a reflection of us — speaking out of what we think we know about God and His infinite ways.

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

 

You know, we as humans have a tendency to talk too much. And too quick. We hear someone’s plight and decide in seconds exactly what they should or should not do. We jump onto their “rights” bandwagon with a, “Girl, you have a right… You better tell her how it is.” Or we claim to know God’s omniscient plan with a, “God would never want you to feel that way.”

Job’s friends did that. They spoke out of a limited, faulty perspective. And it’s a lesson to us. Imagine how different things could be if we simply wept with those who wept and then gently walked with them into the throne room through prayer. Imagine if we just said, “I’m so sorry you’re having to walk through this.” And, “Can we pray together and see what God might want to say?”

There often aren’t simple answers to complicated situations. Our vision is limited. Short-sighted. But God sees the beginning from the end. He knows why He allows what He allows and what His plans are for tomorrow. And for the next day.

To be a great friend may mean we stop advising and just sit. It may mean we stop trying to give all the answers, and rather intercede for God’s perfect wisdom. It most definitely means we remember who God is and who we’re not. His ways are not our own, but He can be fully trusted.

What do you think makes a great friend? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

 

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13 Comments

  • Tab Smith says:

    The timing of this is truly God-planned. What a quick to speak slow to pray friend I have been. I am so blessed by Hello Mornings and Abounding Hope. Thank you.

    • Tab, I have been so challenged by the study this week! “Quick to speak, slow to pray” certainly describes me! Praying that God will be using what we have learned to grow us all into better friends to each other.

  • Lori says:

    Someone who crys with me and laughs with me with lifes trials. Someone who doesn’t pretend or act as if they have all the answers and doesn’t preach at me about what I am doing wrong and say things like “If you would just do it this way…..” and instead walked the way with me while I figured it out with God. A good friend is someone who I have confidence in that they will be there no matter what without judgement and shame. A true friend is not one that I have to talk to every day or even every week. No matter when we see each other we pick right back up where we left off.

  • Kristen says:

    Wow. Just wow. This gives me so much to think (and pray) about today.

  • Margaret says:

    In the daily struggle to get everything done, I often feel like if I can’t do something physically to help a friend who is suffering, then I’m no use to her. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes being with her is enough.

  • Tabitha says:

    what makes a great friend to me is someone who loves you just the way you are, they know all your faults, your mistakes, your struggles, the ugly places, they don’t judge you or criticize you. They pray for you and with you, they listen to you, they are honest with you, they tell you lovingly what you need to hear. They seek God’s council and give you His wisdom. They lift you up. They are your accountability partner. They don’t try to fix what is broken….they just carry the burden with you.

  • This is not an easy subject. I am still seeking what is to be a great friend, and even I am still praying for having the great friends in my life.

    I always remember that to be a great friend is to be a good listener. But I felt that was not enough, I gotta do something more than just be a good listener. But I have no power to help my friends after I listened to their stories/difficulties/grieving/suffering. Who am I to be their helper? Then I came to know Christ, I realize that God wants me to be more than just a listener to them, He wants me to bring them to Him, pray for them.

    All the time I do not have any words to say to a friend who share her heart with me. I pray for her first.

  • Julia says:

    ALWAYS needing work on when to talk and when to be silent. Just sit and be still. So needed this.

  • Cherie says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head-prayer and presence. Hanging in that liminal space of unknowing is unnerving and so just showing up eases the edge of life.

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