June 19, 2017

Comforting Others As You Have Been Comforted (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

It happens often that I hear a story that I am asked to pray over, or I am given the details of something  that I feel compelled to pray for.  My life experiences have blessed me with the ability to connect with a lot of pain and empathize with a lot of situations I encounter in others' lives.

But recently, as occasionally happens, I heard a story from a friend about a life situation I couldn't relate to.  I could definitely hurt for the person and relate to loss and struggle, but not to the specifics that were probably tearing the person up in their mind and heart.  The beautiful thing is, I had only heard of one other person in my life having gone through a similar situation - and that person happened to be in my congregation.

Can I tell you what an incredible joy it is to see God, not just use me, but use other people in our church as well to do unique ministry!  To be able to call a friend and say, "Hey can you please lift this up in prayer as only you can, because I know someone else is hurting through a very similar situation right now, and your intercession will probably be much more poignant than mine alone."  I asked for permission to share it first of course.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says that we are blessed to experience trials by which we also experience God's comfort.  But the powerful part of these verses is that it gives a purpose to our condition.  It says that we are thus able to go out and comfort others with the same comfort that He gave us in similar trials.

Just another way that God uses us as Image Bearers.  He makes us to reflect His glory; then He allows us to experience His comfort so that our brothers and sisters in the Human Race can experience the same comfort through us.  HE is still involved of course, but He is building an army every time he allows us to experience trials/His comfort through it.  An Army that can do what only Image Bearers of a perfect loving God can do.  What a ministry!  What a privilege!  What a good God we serve!

Think about your trials and the comfort you have received from God (possibly through another Image Bearer)!  You are part of a ministry army now.  Be ready to comfort!

With you for His glory,