Reading 1 - Job 16:2
"I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:2).
"Wearisome" (RV mg). Job's friends continue to propound the same old theory.
"I must reflect on how many times I too have been a miserable comforter. What is that makes us think we have the freedom to judge others according to their sins, when we are equally sinful but we can't see it? This is clearly wrong and yet we do it all the time. Perhaps our reflections on Job's situation and suffering at the hands of his friends will make us stop and think" (Peter Cresswell).
Reading 2 - Hab 3:18
"Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior" (Hab 3:18).
Habakkuk does not end with a wail but with a song. It does not end with inquiry but with affirmation. It does not end with frustration but with faith.
"Thank God for His glorious invitation and opportunity to serve Him totally with all your life and strength. And pray without ceasing for the precious divine blessing of ever more zeal and enthusiasm and dedication and intensity of effort. Working for God is the only true living: all other activities are various deceptive degrees of death. It is a joy and a privilege far higher than anything this dead, dull world can ever offer, or even comprehend. All worldly accomplishment ends in the grave" (GV Growcott).
Reading 3 - 2Pe 1:10,11
"Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2Pe 1:10,11).
"In the race for life eternal, there are many things lawful enough in the abstract; but that viewed in relation to the object to be attained, are highly inexpedient, and to be 'laid aside', as Paul advises. It is a simple, and a safe and a reasonable, and a wise rule, and one that will give us much cause for joy at the last, to dispense with every habit or pleasure, or practice, or occupation, or friend that hinders our progress in the narrow way. This is but another way of saying what Christ said: 'If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into the fire of Gehenna.' It is better to make our calling and election sure, at the expense of worldly friends and engagements and advantages, than to secure all these, in this present time, and find, at last, that we have cherished them at the expense of Christ's approbation, and have to pay for them with the loss of the kingdom of God" (Robert Roberts, "Seasons of Comfort" 61).