Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The God of all comfort....

You do not have to look long and hard to make the discovery of things in our world which are evil.  There are reminders for us daily in the news, or even in the lives of some of our acquaintances.  By being a human citizen on this planet earth, we are exposed to suffering and evil on a daily basis.  In a book I discovered this week by one of my favorite authors, Randy Alcorn, I found myself learning or re-learning many of the basics from Genesis concerning the Christian's response and perhaps some of the reasons we find ourselves surrounded by bad things. I hope you get a chance to read Randy's book, The Goodness of God.  The blessing will come to you as you read and associate many of the scripture texts to your own personal experience.

Near the end of the book there is a chapter which gives 4 steps we Christians could be using to understand and teach others about how God's people should respond  when bad things happen.

1.  Look at God's promises for comfort.  Spending some time in the Word will not only give you some answers for your own life, but will equip you in helping others who are facing the obstacles which bring suffering and hurt.  Stop here and read Psalm 27:1-14, paying special attention to God's promises.  David was talking to himself and being reminded about God's faithfulness and goodness. I recommend more time in God's word for any problem! 

2.  Anticipate God's rewards.  One thing we need to learn is that these negative things which happen to us are temporary.  Compare that thought with you thinking as God's child, about your happiness and joy, which are eternal. A good place to examine this is in reading Hebrews 11, about those people from earlier Bible days, who suffered hardship and pain, yet their faith never waivered.  I make the connection with them when I learn to place my full trust in God.

3.  Lighten the load through prayer.  Remember the writings of Paul to the Philippians. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

4.  Share your life with others who suffer.  Here is an important observation from this book.  Get in touch with the suffering of others. Help those who are suffering. Tell them your experiences and listen to theirs.  "The God of all comfort...comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I'm still hoping you will discover Randy's book and come to appreciate more and more, the Father who loves us and sustains us with his faithfulness and goodness.

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