Finding comfort in troubled times
You say, 'Surely Paul was too spiritually mature to feel downcast?' Apparently not! The chief apostle and leader of the church experienced discouragement, stress, restlessness and even fears. 'When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus...' (2 Corinthians 7:5-6 NLT). So, where do we turn for strength in our times of trouble?
Consider some ways God sends us comfort and encouragement: (1) He comforts us by His presence. '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' (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NLT). It's God's nature to be with us, to give us comfort when we're mourning (Matthew 5:4), brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3), overwhelmed (Psalm 145:14), worried (Isaiah 41:10) or unwell (Psalm 41:3). But we must acknowledge His presence and accept His comfort! (2) He comforts us by His Word. 'Remember Your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles' (Psalms 119:49-50 NLT).
(3) He comforts us through our prayers. '...As soon as I pray, You answer me; You encourage me by giving me strength' (Psalm 138:3 NLT). (4) He comforts us through Godly friends. Paul writes: 'God...comforted us by the coming of Titus.' Today, look for those who bring comfort, and practise comforting others.
SoulFood: 1 Timothy 4-6, Luke 9:37-45, Psa 42:1-5, Pro 19:12-14
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2011alt