Monday, October 19, 2009

Daily Digest #352

[God] comforts us . . . that we may be able to comfort [others] with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. —2 Corinthians 1:4

Here are some excerpts from an RBC Ministries article about where to find comfort ("Where Can We Find Comfort, pp. 5-6, 30):

One of the things we learn from the Bible is that the reassuring Spirit of Christ works in ways that are not always our ways. This is graphically illustrated in the life of someone who probably experienced as much trouble as any war veteran, addict, sexual-abuse victim, or bereaved person you have ever met. Yet in spite of all his pain, he came through it praising "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1:3).

We know him as the apostle Paul, the converted killer-turned- spiritual- advisor. As a battered, bruised, and often sorrowing representative of Christ, Paul is a case study of how the Spirit of God can give comfort and help in the midst of trouble.

He is an example of someone who was able to get beyond the tormenting memories of what had done to others (Acts 8:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:12-17) and what others had done to him. Yet Paul was more than a survivor. While remembering and bearing the scars of the past, he wasn't broken and embittered by his memories. He was able to look back and see that the darkest times had actually prepared the way for a sunrise. He wrote convincingly about a mysterious yet real source of comfort that freed him from his memories....

Paul explains where we can find comfort in his second letter to the Corinthians, namely, from:
1. God who comforts
2. Weakness that helps
3. Conscience that reassures
4. Sorrow that changes
5. Spirit Who empowers
6. Faith that sees
7. Person who cares
8. Strength that sustains

I believe most of us can relate most to #7. But seeking comfort from another person alone is not enough. Like us, the other person is only human who has limits and weaknesses. Our expectations may be great that we pressure the other person to provide what he/she simply cannot give. Most relationships are broken because of high expectations. I have my own share of experiences regarding this. But the experience taught me to turn to God. He made me realize how my fears and weaknesses have affected my judgment about others. He heard my prayers, answered my questions (which was A LOT) and gave me a different perspective. His responses humbled me and caused me to repent, to heal and to share a bit of comfort to others as well. I still have to make up for my shortcomings, and I thank God for giving me that opportunity every day.

What about you? How has God comforted you? Please feel free to share :D

Let us pray. Lord, thank You for being our Comforter. Thank You for giving us a different perspective when all we see are flaws. Lord, forgive us for allowing our fears and weaknesses to cause us to give in to sin. We pray for our relationship with others -- our families, friends, neighbors, officemates, sisters and brothers in the community, and our enemies. May we continue to seek comfort and strength in You. Amen.

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