Luke 23:34), though in much less perfect magnanimity, Job sees some excuse for the conduct of his censors. He finds that conduct to be an instance of a common rule of action, viz. that the prosperous despise the unfortunate.
I. WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE TROUBLE WE DO NOT SHARE. Job's vast woe was quite beyond the comprehension of his would-be sympathizers. They thought that they had fathomed its depths, and that they were in a position to adjudicate upon its merits. But they had scarcely skimmed its surface. They did not know what Job suffered; much less did they see why God had permitted him to be thus afflicted. The happy look flora their sunny homes on the dark abodes of misery, but they cannot understand the sorrows they have never tasted. They who have always had their wants satisfied simply do not know what hunger and thirst are. The unbroken family cannot conceive of the agony of bereavement
II. WE ARE TEMPTED TO DESPISE THE TROUBLE WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND. As We have not the faculty to dive into its mystery, it seems to us a shallow thing. Therefore, when the sufferers appear to make much of it, we are inclined to think that they are exaggerating it; that they are giving way to it in a cowardly weakness; that they are indecently demonstrative or even shamming hypocritically. The rich are too often ready to regard the very poor as whining impostors. They who have never felt the pangs of conscience look with contempt on the penitent's tears.
III. WE MAY USE OUR OWN TROUBLE AS A MEANS OF STIMULATING OUR SYMPATHY WITH THE TROUBLES OF OTHERS. Possibly this is one reason why it is sent to us. We have been too narrow and selfish in our view of it, thinking it must be confined to some effect directly and solely beneficial to ourselves. But it may be largely intended to prepare us for our work in helping others in trouble. The widow can sympathize with the widow; the poor show most kindness to the poor. The experience of the prostration of a great illness enables a person to understand and help sick people. Thus sorrow is a talent to be used for the good of others, by being invested in sympathy.
IV. THE SORROWS OF CHRIST HELPED TO MAKE HIM A PERFECT SAVIOUR. If Christ understands anything, it is sorrow; for was he not "a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief"? Therefore the sufferer who is despised by his prosperous brethren can turn with assurance of sympathy to the Saviour of men. Christ not only understands sorrow, he knows how to use it. He converted his cross into a lever for raising a fallen world. He will help his suffering disciples to despise their own sorrows while sympathizing with the sorrows of others. Strong in his victory over sin, sorrow, and death, Christ for ever sanctifies suffering. While the superficial may despise it, true Christians can now see in it a means of heavenly grace. - W.F.A.
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and He answereth.
1. It is the privilege of the saints, when men fail and reject them, to make God their refuge and their recourse to heaven.
2. The repulses which we meet with in the world, should drive us nearer to God.
3. Prayer and seeking unto God are not in vain or fruitless.
4. As it is sinful, so it is extremely dangerous to mock those who have the ear of God, or acceptance with God in prayer.
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