Job remembers his former blessings before his suffering began.
“I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. My steps were awash in cream, and the rocks gushed olive oil for me.
“Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths. The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect.
“All who heard me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me. For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy. Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and plucked their victims from their teeth.”
Job was walking a fine line between bragging about past accomplishments and recalling good deeds in order to answer the charges against him. He recalled how good life seemed to be when he was prosperous and a respected member of the community. He took this reminiscing a step further and recalled being quite the righteous example to all who knew him.
Job’s one weakness throughout his conversations is that he came dangerously close to pride. Pride is especially deceptive when we are doing right. But it separates us from God by making us think we are better than we really are. As a result, we tend to trust our own opinions, which leads to other kinds of sin.
Remembering past deeds is not wrong, but a better approach is to recount God’s blessings. This will help keep us from inadvertently falling into pride.
Take a few moments to list God’s blessings: faith, family, friends, finances, future . . . Then thank God for his ongoing work in your life.