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Finding Comfort in Troubled Times

Posted by admin May - 28 - 2013 - Tuesday

I’ve had people say to me (and I remember thinking to myself at one time!), surely St. Paul was too spiritually mature to every feel downcast or afraid?! Wellllllllll…. apparently not!

The chief apostle and leader of the New Testament church experienced discouragement, stress, restlessness and even fears. Listen to these words from Paul in the Book of 2nd Corinthians: “When we arrived in Macedonia province, we couldn’t settle down. The fights in the church and the fears in our hearts kept us on pins and needles. We couldn’t relax because we didn’t know how it would turn out.” (2 Corinthians 7:5-6 from The Message translation) So, where do WE turn for strength in our times of trouble? Let me suggest some ways that God, through The Comforter (His Holy Spirit), sends us comfort and encouragement:

1) He comforts us by His presence. In 2nd Thessalonians, it says: “Now may… God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing.” You need to know that it’s God’s nature to be with us, to be for us, to never leave us nor forsake us! He provides comfort when we’re mourning, brokenhearted, overwhelmed, worried or sick. But… we must acknowledge His presence and accept His comfort.

2) He comforts us by His Word. The Bible is a tremendous place of comfort. God speaks to us through His Word. I remember when I unpacked my stuff on the first day of pre-season practice my freshman year in college. I was putting clothes away from my suitcase when I came upon a Bible. (By the way, my Mom packed my suitcase for me!) I opened the Bible and found a note my Mom had written to me. It said, “Lewis (she never called me Lew!), you’re going to face some struggles in the next few months. Turn to God’s Word for comfort and reassurance.” About a week later, homesick as I could be, I remembered those words and found that Bible. Opening it, I began to read. I’d like to tell you that I was inspired and everything became better. Unfortunately, because I was NOT walking with the Lord at that time, what I read in that Bible made NO sense… no sense at all! I tossed it aside and didn’t look at a Bible for another 14 years! When I accepted Jesus as my Savior and decided to begin a personal relationship with Him (as the Gospel of John says, I was “born again” from above), everything changed. When I opened the Bible after that change in my life, it made complete sense. My Mom died about 7 years later. I found great comfort in reading God’s Word then.

3) He comforts us through our prayers. Psalm 138 says, “The moment I called out, You (God) stepped in; You made my life large with strength.” God is waiting for us to turn to Him in prayer. He wants us to bring Him our worries, fears and doubts. He’s big enough to handle all of them.

4) He comforts us through godly friends. I spent a couple of hours with one of my players this afternoon. He had just lost his grandmother. Quite shook up over her death, he shared with me some of the things he was feeling and experiencing. He was trusting enough to share with me about an incident where he knew God was right there with him when he was feeling the severity of his loss. I shared with him how God is a God of comfort. That God is right there with us in our troubled times. I am praying for him and his family that they let Jesus wrap His big, loving arms around them in this time of grief and loss. I hope that I brought him a measure of comfort.

Today, look for those in your life who bring comfort and… practice comforting others.

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