Teaching

Where Does My Comfort Come From?

Today Eliphaz takes his turn to speak. It looks like he feels that the counsel of good friends is all that is provided for comfort during trials (15.9-11), and Eliphaz is not impressed with Job’s resolute trust in God (13.15).

Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
that you turn your spirit against God
and bring such words out of your mouth?

Job 15.1-13

He asks, simply, where does comfort come from then? He seems to think that God’s comfort is exclusively given through the counsel of others (Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?). Whilst this is not untrue, it is not exclusively true. God certainly does speak through the counsel of other believers in our lives. Huge comfort can be taken from being in the presence of someone who has been in the presence of the Lord. 

However, this is but one way the Lord comforts His people. They are vast and varied, but I would suggest that they all point to one place. God’s comfort in times of trouble and affliction, in times of stress and anxiety, in times of uncertainty and persecution is the One we read of in Luke 2,

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

God’s comfort always takes us in some way, shape, or form, to the Lord Jesus Christ, the consolation of Israel, God’s light for revelation, salvation, and glory.

If you are troubled, afflicted, stressed, anxious, or uncertain today, seek out the comfort of God available to you through the person and work of Jesus.

Living a Life of Faith

James wraps up this passage, James 2.14-26, by saying that 

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

A body with no breath is dead, so, says James, is faith without works, without evidence, without fruit, without proof. 

Thomas Manton said that,

Here [James] concludes the whole argument, showing how little is [given] to an empty profession of faith without works. It is like the body without the spirit of life.

What does working faith look like then, where does it take us? If you’re a notetaker, this is it;


Genuine faith results in active obedience to Jesus’ teachings. 

Working faith takes us to Jesus…every, single, time.


Here’s why. We try, and try, and try, and try to be so obedient, to do good works to show our faith, and we realise, you know what, I just cannot ever, try as hard as I might, live the kind of holy, sanctified, righteous, life that we are called out of the world to live.

Back in chapter one James writes, be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 

So we do need to be doers, we want to be doers, but when we try to be we realise that we are failing, because the standard is so high. It’s 24x7x365. This is really bad news.

Where then do we turn when we realise this, that we have failed, again?

To Jesus. To the Good News, to the Gospel. 

That’s why working faith takes us to Jesus.

Where is the Gospel in James? Admit the bad news to receive the Good News – this is a work of faith that we need to do each and every day, and that is why a life of working faith will always take us to Jesus.

What Happens When I Die?

Job is lamenting the present and seems to be wondering about the future, and asks, 

“For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.

Job 14.7-12

It looks like Job is wondering, what is going to happen to me? What happens when I die?

As human beings we must all endure a physical death. This is one thing that unites every single person ever to set foot on Earth. 

Our bodies were not made to live eternally in their current state, evidenced by the fact there are no double-centurians in our midst. Do you know anyone who is 200 years old? The oldest recorded and fully authenticated human life in modern times was one hundred and twenty two years, one hundred and sixty four days. All this to say, Job’s question here is something that will certainly affect every one of us, and is consequently something of the utmost importance to us.

The Word is so clear about what happens for the believer. In as few words as possible, for those that have put hope, faith, and trust in Jesus, physical death brings ‘immediate transition…into the presence of Christ‘. As a believer in Jesus, your earthly death means closing your eyes here and opening them in the presence of your Redeemer. 

There is no uncertainty for the believer, no apprehension about destination, no fear of the future.


For a more in-depth look at this with many Scriptural references, head over to GoodLion;

Personal Eschatology: What Happens When I Die?

Personal Eschatology

Is God Good?

Job continues to speak and through his words answers a question that most of us have asked or been asked; is God good?

“Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.

Job 13.13-15

Even though he didn’t understand what was going on, he trusts God (I will hope in Him). Have you ever been in a situation like that? Circumstances that you don’t understand, a situation that you cannot make sense of, when the only thing left to do is trust wholeheartedly in God. Job knew that even though he slay me, even though the terrible things happening to him were not outside of God’s permission or declaration, that trusting and hoping in Him were still the right things to do. 

Even though blameless and upright (1.1, 8) Job was going through a set of circumstances that would break us all. 

Even though he was without blame and suffering, he still did not curse God (1.22, 2.10).

Even though he was on the precipice of death (3.20-26), he hoped in and trusted God.

Even though he slay me, I will hope in him

Reading this, it is hard to look past the Christ-centred type that Job is. The truer, better Job, think about Jesus;

A blameless and upright man charged and punished as if He had sinned – Isaiah 53.6, 2 Corinthians 5.21

A man who throughout His ordeal, did not curse God. On the contrary, He sought forgiveness for those involved – Luke 23.34

A man who, on the precipice of death, trusted God – Luke 23.46

A man who, even though slain, brings eternal hope – 1 Thessalonians 1.3, John 4.13-14

Is God good? Job knew that He is. For you and me, despite what is going on around us, le us forever say yes, yes He is.

Can I Know God?

Today Zophar the Naamathite answers Job and asks, 

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?

Job 11.7-8

There is little compassion coming Job’s way from Zophar, and he even thinks Job deserves worse (11.6). He basically tells Job that he is totally deserving of everything that is happening to him (vv.2-6), and then rebukes Job for boasting in his claim to be innocent. Rather than comforting Job in his affliction, Zophar seems to think that God is so unknowable that there must be some unknown – but real – way that Job has sinned. 

At the core of Zohar’s argument is the idea that we cannot really know God, we cannot find out the deep things of God, we cannot find the limit of the Almighty, that we cannot ever really know God.

So, can we know God?

There are two ways we can know God – His general revelation and His specific revelation. 

General revelation is what can be known of God to each and every human being from simply being observant about the world we live in. Created beauty, the fine tuning of the universe, the cycle of life, and the order of life, for example (Psalm 19.1-4, Romans 1.20). 

Specific, or special, revelation is how God has revealed Himself, His plans, His purposes in specific ways. This is things like dreams, visions, His Word, and through the person and work of Jesus. 

Of these, the Word and the person of Jesus are by far the most revealing, the most thorough, and the most special (2 Timothy 3.16-17, Hebrews 1.1-3). 

Can we know God? Absolutely. We can observe the world He has made, we can read the Word He communicated, and we can be in relationship through faith with His Son, His very likeness in human form, Jesus. 

Is God Any Different?

There are certain things that we all want. Love, respect, comfort, security, the pursuit of happiness, hope for the future, to know that there is something or someone greater, to belong to something bigger than ourselves, to know that God is different to us. 

Here, Job seems to be asking the same kind of question,

Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?

Job 10.4

When things are crumbling around him, Job is asking ‘God, are you any different? Is there any point in me trusting you? Are you just like everyone and everything else? Are you any different?

He answers his own question in vv.8-13 but things around him lead him to ask the question. It’s so easy, and very human, to ask these big questions of God when things are going wrong. Given the current state of the pandemic-ridden world, we would be forgiven for asking the same questions, ‘Really God, why is this happening? I thought you loved everyone? Are you any different?

Ask those questions. Ask and then turn to the Word to find the answers in places like this,

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
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 55.6-9

Yes, our great God is different.

He is real, He is near, He delights in compassion, forgiveness, and grace. He knows what is truly best for His creation (Job 10.12-13in ways that we simply cannot understand. He is different. 

Whilst it looks like the world is falling apart, could it be that things are falling into place in the eyes of Him who sees the bigger picture? I would encourage you today to trust in His unfailing love, grace, wisdom, and His ability to ensure that His will is always done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

What a question. It’s deep, it’s emotional, it’s raw, and it’s something that we have all asked at some point in our lives.

I hope that when you asked this, the answer you got was ‘yes‘. If directly or indirectly you got a ‘no‘, if you feel like you will never be good enough, you find yourself in good company here. 

Job replies to Bildad (ch.8) and says,

Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?

Job 9.2

This is a process that we all work through, isn’t it? 

We accept that the world was made. We accept that the world was made by an all-powerful creator God. We accept that this all-powerful creator God is uniquely holy and pure. We accept that, by nature, we are not. We question, will I ever be good enough for this all-powerful, creator God who is uniquely holy and pure?

The answer is that alone, left to your own devices, no, you won’t be. You never will be. This is bad news.

We many look at others and appear humanly righteous, as people like Noah (Genesis 7.1) and Job himself (1.1) were. But, bigger picture, compared to the uniquely holy and pure righteousness of God, are we? Can we ever be good enough?

There will only ever be one way that God looks at you and declares you righteous – faith in Jesus.

As by nature we are all broken and sinful, by faith we are declared righteous (Romans 5.19).

There will always be others around us to whom we can point and say look, see, I am more righteous than him/her. Does this make us good enough? 

With faith in Jesus, you have the only thing you ever need to be good enough for our all-powerful creator God who is uniquely and totally holy and pure. This is the Good News!