Job's friends' original response was the right one. They sat with Job in silence for seven days. They didn't offer advice, they didn't offer empty platitudes, they simply sat and grieved with him.
When those around us our suffering, we often don't know what to say to help them in their grief. The truth is, we are often most helpful when we say nothing.
This certainly proved true in Job's friends' case. They would've been better off remaining silent, because as soon as they started talking, things went off the rails.
All 3 of Job's friends made the mistake of assuming that Job's suffering must be punishment for some great sin on Job's part. We know that this is not the case because we received a firsthand look at the spiritual battle going on behind the scenes. We know that Job's suffering will prove his faith genuine and bring glory to God. But Job and his friends don't know this.
Job's friends make some good points - they're just not applicable to Job.
Sometimes suffering is caused because of sin. But not in Job's case.
Eliphaz was correct (in v17) that it is a blessing to be disciplined by God when we do wrong. But this was not applicable to Job's situation.
It is true that pain helps us grow, but God does not eliminate all hardship when we are living righteously, and good deeds are not always rewarded with prosperity.
We need to remember not to throw out advice when we don't understand the entire situation.
Our Corinthians passage reminded me of the need to be humble. We are called to be faithful where God has called us to serve, but the fruits of that faithfulness are to give glory to God, not ourselves. Everything we do must be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and done for His glory.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 8-10; 1 Corinthians 4