“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When my children were little, my youngest could be VERY stingy. If he won a dollar in Children’s church while we were on furlough in the States he would ask to go by McDonalds to purchase some fries. If my youngest daughter asked him for one, he would deny her. She would beg and plead for just one fry, but he would not budge. Amelia would sit and cry until he finished them all right in front of her. Obviously, I never knew about this or he would have had to give all of the fries up at once. It’s amazing how many stories like this I am beginning to hear from them about their behavior as kids!
What my son did is kind of mean, don’t you agree? Why would he want to keep something so good from someone who wanted it? And yet, we do it ALL the time as Christians.
You and I will see someone going through something and we will either ignore them because we don’t want to be bothered, or we will judge them for WHY they are passing through deep waters. Rarely do we offer to come up alongside and truly comfort them.
But Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1 that we should “comfort wherewithal we ourselves are comforted of God.” When we are in trouble God doesn’t leave us hanging. No sir, He comforts us in “all our tribulation”. Isn’t that something? He is going to be there right when we need Him. He won’t sit there and taunt us as we struggle to understand and cope. He wont sit there idly by while we attempt to figure things out for ourselves. No, God “comforts” us and that means that He “comes along side”.
And He teaches us in His perfect way to go comfort others in the exact same way that HE has comforted us. We shouldn’t be stingy with what we have learned, we should share.
It is never a good idea to divulge your whole life with all it’s ups and downs and in and outs, but it is good to USE what you have been through in order to help someone else know that they are not alone and that God can see them through it all.
Older mothers shouldn’t judge younger ones as they struggle with babies who are a handful.
Post Menopause women shouldn’t roll their eyes at the women who are experiencing it for themselves.
Wives who have had their husband’s last name for a quarter of a century shouldn’t judge the newlywed who is fumbling through their first years.
We all have been through “stuff” that has been hard. We all have needed God to come alongside and help us when we are at our lowest. Why, then, would we harbor that comfort and not pass it along to someone else?
Last week I heard a black preacher describe it something like this: “Turn your misery into ministry”. I like that. I can think of a hundred times I have been miserable and God has delivered me. So instead of just praising God for His goodness (which I should and do) I should turn those times into ministry by helping someone else.
Have you been through something specific that most people haven’t? Ask God to use it to minister to someone who is going through similar circumstances.
Turn your misery into ministry.
Comfort someone else today.
Dwell in His Word and pray that He guides you to the person needing it the most.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Leviticus 16 / Isaiah 3-4 / Psalm 72 / Mark 6