The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Comfort Received, Comfort Dispensed"
In times when we feel most downtrodden and discouraged, great opportunity lies before us.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, 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" (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
First, note the availability of God's encouragement. He comforts us "in all our tribulation." Of course, we must consciously seek His help, trusting that regardless of our trial, our Heavenly Father is able to apply adequate balm to our wounds. This sometimes involves a challenging step of faith. Is God able to comfort us in any and every trial? The Biblical answer decisively affirms His capability. But have we made the truth our personal answer? We must do so in order to experience the encouragement our Heavenly Father seeks to bestow. "Let, I pray thee, Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Thy word unto Thy servant" (Psalm 119:76). God's availability of comfort promised to all must become "Thy Word unto Thy servant" as by faith we make general revelation our personally accessed light of grace.
Note also that comfort received becomes comfort dispensed: "that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble." When God allows feelings of discouragement, we do well to avoid descending into the black hole of "Why me, Lord?" The Holy Spirit rather works in us to motivate and empower our shining as the light of Christ's encouragement to others. "To whom can I bestow the comfort I have received and am receiving in my challenge?" You likely share the experience I have known so many times when feeling down. Some fellow traveler along the path of discouragement shared his difficulty. As I sought to administer comfort by the Word of God, I found my own heart greatly strengthened as the truth helped me just as much as the one I sought to encourage.
No less than a weary Lord Jesus Christ found invigoration and sustenance when He shared God's truth with the woman at the well (John 4:6-32). We must expect the same. Temptations to discouragement provide blessed opportunity to seek comfort from our Father, and then minister comfort to others. The love of Christ leads us accordingly, and we do well to expect much experience of feeling down resulting in our looking upward, outward, and away from ourselves unto our Father, and then the needs of others.
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
(I Peter 5:7)
"Bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness."