The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hope for those who are suffering

A friend of mine is serving the Lord with her family, yet they have recently been betrayed by those they thought to be their closest friends. Another faithful family just lost the wife and mother. Our pastor's family is suffering through serious illnesses, a custody battle, and several other trials. (Please pray for these families!) Our human reaction is often one of despair and hopelessness, asking, "Why, Lord?" Sometimes we never receive an answer this side of heaven, but even if we don't understand the whys and wherefores, we are promised comfort.

Pastor Wingard preached an excellent sermon yesterday morning, and I thought I'd share it with you. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to someone in need.

II Corinthians 1:3-7 "(3) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (6) And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (7) And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation."

Pastor Wingard went on to say that, while we can all sympathize with the afflictions of others, only someone who has been through a trial can truly empathize and offer comfort to someone else going through the same or similar trial. God sometimes allows us to go through suffering because, down the road, we have a Divine appointment to comfort someone who will be going through the same trial. Meanwhile, as we pass through the fire ourselves, we can know that God has appointed someone for our comfort. He will not leave us comfortless. Pastor Wingard ended by challenging us to ask God to put us in contact with someone in this coming new year whom we can help because of our past trials. If you are in the midst of suffering, I encourage you to ask God to send you someone who has walked in your shoes and has passed through the fire victoriously.