After all the rest of the testing was finished, Job was faced with perhaps his most difficult test of all–forgiveness.

Job 42:7-9
7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. 
After all the speeches were made and all the opinions expressed, God spoke. He defended his servant Job, despite the accusations and insinuations made against him. God was preparing to deal with Job’s accusers in judgement, but he gave Job an opportunity to pray for his accusers and avert God’s judgement on them. I don’t fully understand God’s reasons for doing this the way that he did, but God must have had so much confidence in Job, to give him this opportunity to play a role in his accusers receiving mercy!  When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar obeyed God and came to Job with a repentant heart to ask for prayer, Job prayed for them and God showed them mercy.  What an astounding thing for Job to do!
I have been hurt, and I have faced accusations. I have had people wound me deeply in life. Yet I don’t know if I’ve ever had one of them come to me later and ask me to pray for God’s mercy in their life. Would I respond like Job? I hope so.
This step was perhaps one of the greatest tests that Job faced. If God had restored Job’s fortunes and family, but he went on to live with a bitter and cynical heart…what good would his restored possessions have done him? If Job’s herds, wealth, position, and family were restored but he lost the Godly heart that made him so unique and special, finishing out his days twisted by unforgiveness…then Satan truly would have won the battle.
I don’t have to wait for my world to stop turning the way that Job’s did, to cultivate the same heart that he displayed. I can pray today for those who have hurt me. I can beg for God’s mercy on those who have shown me none. I can pray blessing on those who have accused me and spread rumors. I can display the same mercy to others, that God has shown me over and over again.
God, thank you for the amazing story of Job. It’s heavy at times, and not lighthearted or fun–but it’s what I needed to read today. Help me to walk steadfastly in righteousness as he did–simply putting one foot in front of the other, daily making decisions that align with your heart and your word. When accusations and rumors swirl, give me strength and courage to forgive. Help me to extend your grace to those around me, so that your heart would be revealed in me even in seasons of suffering. Thank you for the mercy that I daily receive from you!

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