Comfort Those In Trouble
by David Dahl
I get together with a group of guys every week. What draws us together isn’t politics. I venture to guess that we differ quite widely on a number of issues. We don’t all share the same interests in sports or entertainment. One might surmise that we do have a mutual appreciation for a hot breakfast, but even that isn’t enough to keep our get-together going.
While friendships based on similar tastes and common interests are wonderful, there is a deeper – almost mysterious – bond of friendship that easily supersedes it. C. S. Lewis explained it this way: Friendship is born at the moment when one says to another, “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself ” [or “I thought I was the only one”]
That is the magic moment – the second you realize, “You too? I thought I was the only one.” You instantly feel encouraged, more connected, and less alone.
Paul explains this mysterious bond of friendship in 2 Corinthians. Like all good things, it begins with God. Paul explains that God is “the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation”. (2 Corinthians 1:3) Paul goes on to explain that we have all tasted God’s comfort. Therefore, we’re able to share that comfort with others.
Paul added his own experience stating that one season of life was so difficult that he “despaired of life itself” (see 2 Cor. 1:8). But God saw him through. And one of the purposes he wrote the Corinthians was to state how thankful he was for the God “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:4).
Did you notice that? Because God has taken you through hard seasons, God has given you the ability to help someone else through a hard season as well.
This isn’t being a “you can do it” cheerleader. This comfort is honest about sin and its effects. We don’t sugarcoat or wish things away. Instead, we look to God for the hope and strength we do not have in ourselves.
The news chronicling broken human behavior has again captured our attention. Our prayers go up on behalf of those who have experienced the unspeakable tragedy of the school shooting in Florida. Our prayer is that God would direct the followers of Christ in that area to listen, give comfort and act wisely and compassionately. God is the giver of all compassion. These people need a great outpouring of that compassion.
A number of you know what this kind of a tragedy feels like. So when you have one of those “What? You too?” moments, know that God is at work in you to extend comfort to someone who needs it. Where does it come from? We are able to comfort them because God has comforted us. So listen to their story and share your own. Then pray and watch God’s comforting hand at work through you.
Keep and Live the Faith!
Pr. Dave Dahl
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