Watching someone suffer is, for me, one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. You hurt for them. You have difficulty understanding why this is happening.
In the case of Job, God was working behind the scenes, allowing Job to suffer. In the end God never told Job why He allowed him to suffer. Rarely do we know why we suffer. Some think that they do or make foolish guesses like Job’s comforters did. And, unfortunately, there are plenty of Job’s comforters around today.
I have found that it is better to be quiet and listen. Hold a hand, offer to pray, tell them that you love them, be there for them. If they open up, don’t offer platitudes; it won’t help and may make it worse. Above all, be genuine. (People can tell when your not.)
Many times I have wanted to take their place. But Jesus already did. He suffered on our behalf. He has a reason for allowing it. And our source of ultimate comfort is in Him.