|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You have been set free”
Our Bible verse for today: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be a source of grace, peace, and comfort”
I love the way Paul began his letter to the Corinthian believers, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” What a wonderful word of blessing to greet someone with. Then, he immediately follows that in verses 3-4 with an explanation of how it is that we can be a conduit for that grace and peace to flow from God to other people: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort that we ourselves received from God.”
It never ceases to amaze me how much pain and suffering there is in this world. From famines and wars; to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and pandemics; to the normal everyday trials that we all experience like the death of a loved one, sickness, wayward children, betrayal by friends, etc. And Christians aren’t exempt from any of it. We suffer those things right along with our fellow humans.
Yes, there is a lot of pain and suffering in life. But that’s just life in a broken, bleeding, sin-filled world. However, God often does His best work in the middle of suffering, because that’s when people are most open to Him. As Christians we often experience God most and best in the middle of pain and suffering, and that’s even truer for non-Christians. Typically, the closer a person gets to rock-bottom in life the more open that person is to seeking comfort from the God of all comfort.
That’s the situation Paul was describing in 2 Corinthians 1:3-6. First, God will comfort you in the midst of your own pain and suffering. Then, He will use your times of pain and suffering, and what you learned through them, to make you more sensitive and empathic to those who are suffering like you did. That then creates the opportunity for God to use you to deliver His grace and peace and comfort to others who are suffering and who may not even know Him.
Through their pain and suffering you can help other people to find the grace and peace that you have found from God through faith in Jesus Christ. Pain and suffering can become a pathway that leads them to freedom – the true freedom that we’ve been thinking about all month. I encourage you to look for someone you can be a source of comfort to today.
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