In my last post I talked about jumbling up my words. This message below is what I wanted to say to those teenagers.
1 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies…”
Father of mercies. I love that. Mercy is defined as not getting what you actually deserve. We deserved death because of our sin. Instead, through Jesus’ perfect life, sacrificed on the cross, God, our Father gives us life. He replaces the darkness that hung heavy over our lives with an abundant and startlingly radiant light.
“…and God of all comfort…”
The Greek word for comfort here is encouragement. Not only does He save us from death, he is also all-encouraging. As we go through hardships, he is there comforting us, helping us through, guiding us, holding us. I think of when a friend is going through a hard time, how people surround them and hold them up. God does that for us.
“…who comforts us in all our affliction…”
Troubles, heartaches, death, sickness, accidents; anything that life throws at us, He’s there. Whether the trouble is out of our control or self-inflicted, the God of all comfort comforts us in all our afflictions. As He comforts, He speaks truth to our hurting hearts (if we choose to listen). That truth becomes the anchor we hold on to as the boat rocks back and forth. Some storms physically damage our vessels. Some weather the sails. Others bring rain and leave no visible trace over a span of time. Regardless of the intensity, God’s always there, leading us safely to His haven.
“…so, that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction…”
Because God comforts us during the afflictions, tribulations, and storms of life, we in turn will be able to help others going through hard times.
“…with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God…”
How do we do it? God gave us truths to lean on! He held us when the waves rocked and roared. We learned invaluable lessons in the middle of suffering. We learned that there’s no storm that can defeat us as long as we trust in God.
Each lesson, each truth, each spiritual marker we earned along the way enables us to comfort those around us who are going through tough times. We’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt (so to speak). We’ve lived the hard times and rested on God as our anchor. Now we have the privilege of paying it forward.
After King David sinned with Bathsheba he wrote Psalm 51. “Create in me a clean heart…” was his plea. I think my favorite part of that passage has become verses 12 and 13: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. THEN I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will be converted to you.” David wanted to teach others not to do it the way he did. He had a story to tell!
Do you have a “been there done that” story of when God brought you through? As God comforted you, you in turn can comfort those around you with the comfort God gave you. Tell your story. Share your story. Comfort through your story as God comforted you!