All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life, so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles.
2 Cor 1:3-5
15 years ago my cousin Calvin passed away in a tragic car accident. Our whole family was shaken to the core. How could this have happened to a young man with such potential? Why would God allow this? It was an excruciating few years for all of us, but it was especially hard for my aunt and uncle, Calvin’s parents. Without the much desired but never supplied answers to the questions about God’s sovereignty, my aunt and uncle searched for meaning in their pain and became the most beautiful display of today’s verses.
Aunt Charlotte began a ministry called "Helping Hurting Hearts." The purpose of this ministry is to execute the verses above, to supply others with the boundless comfort God gave her through the loss of her only son. Her ministry has been very successful in coming alongside those in deep grief.
The verses above describe God has the Father of all compassion, and the God of all comfort. I think of Him as a Father who sits and cries with us when we are hurting. I’m thankful for this picture of God being present in our hurt and I know from personal experience that God provides this comfort in different ways, often times through friends.
Have you ever had that friend? The one who really knows you? Maybe they haven't experienced the exact same pain, because what to "pains" are identical, but they get it. Not only can do they see your hurt by sympathizing, they can feel it too, being able to empathize. Or have you been able to comfort someone with understanding who is in need of a real friend?
Using the comfort God has generously provided for us in hard times to comfort and console others does not take away one ounce of the hurt we have experienced, but it does allow us to see God redeem some of our pain. I’m grateful to serve a God in whom I believe that in His sovereign plan, no pain is ever wasted.
I am challenged today, to look past myself to see those wounded around me and I'm prompted to thank God for those He has graciously placed in our path in the seasons, like these last few months, when we have needed His life giving comfort as well.
Who can you reach out to today that might need some encouragement?
Who can you thank for being there for you in a time when you needed emotional encouragement?
Jesus thank you for the verses above for they paint a picture of great purpose in our pain. Empower us to use our story to comfort and energize others in their walk with you. Only you can turn our trials into good in such a way, and we are exceedingly grateful. God, thank you for the abundance of comfort you provide, it is truly unlike any other and thank you for the friends who have "carried our burdens." We know you blessed us with them in our exact time of need to be your hands and feet on earth. Please use us in the same way. We love you, Amen.
“In Christ Alone” Kristian Stanfill/ Passion