The God of All Comfort
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-5
The topic of encouragement is dear to me because encouragers helped turn my heart toward the Lord after the fatal car accident that took the lives of our son Mark and his friend Kelly. When God seemed far away, He sent His people as His hands, feet, words, listening ears, and comforting heart. God kept the promise of His presence and comfort through the actions of each person. God sent His people as His promise keepers. Life-giving words and actions stirred up our faith and reminded us that God is sovereign and we can trust Him.
I imagine that many who came to our home in those awful days after Mark’s death, felt inadequate and helpless in the face of our great sorrow. I wonder how many sat in their cars for an few extra minutes, praying for the right words, the right actions, wanting to help but knowing nothing they said or did would give us what we wanted most – our son.
Our gratitude for each of those encouragers continues to this day, for each of their gestures helped turn our hearts toward our Savior.
We live in a broken world. People we love experience devastating losses. Sometimes the hurt shatters families, friendships, and relationships in such enormous ways, we feel helpless and turn away. Others want to offer help and hope to hurting people but don’t know how. Others live with low grade guilt because their lives are so busy, they can’t imagine adding one more task to their “to do list.”
Do not fret that this devotional will load on more guilt. Rather, the ultimate goal is for us to understand that intimacy with Jesus can make encouragement a natural overflow of His love for us into the lives of others. So be at peace, dear friend! This devotional is not another to do list, but rather an invitation to revel in the love of our Savior so much so that biblical encouragement eventually flows naturally.
The purpose of this devotional is not in-depth Bible study but rather healthy spiritual snack food to keep you going when you’re tired of the darkness and want to quit. Print out the Daily Treasure graphic and refer to it often or share it on social media. Journal your thoughts and actions directed by the Lord, and one day, years from now, you’ll find that little notebook stuck in the back of a drawer and you’ll marvel at the way the Lord led you to help turn your friend’s heart to Him, in the darkest night of her soul. But even more, you’ll remember the deep love you felt streaming from Him as He answered your pleas for help through His Word and prayer.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Invite friends to join you on this life-giving encouragement journey.
Treasured by Him,
Read Psalm 86 for a reminder of God’s kindness, forgiveness and compassion.
Read Treasures of Encouragement, Chapter 1 (Reading Treasures of Encouragement is not a requirement for this devotional! But if you want to dig deeper and don’t have a copy of this book, you can order it online or on the MARKINC website.)
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.