God Comforts 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.” (2 Corinthians 1:3)
“Strike three; you’re out!” The umpire shouted the dreaded words. The small crowd of parents and siblings was silent as Gabe shuffled back to the bench, tossing his bat in the dirt.
Gabe sat down on the far end of the bench and sighed. He was sure that last pitch had been a ball – that’s why he hadn’t swung. He could not believe he had struck out for the second time in one game. Why could he not come through when all his team needed was a simple base hit?
As Gabe felt more and more discouraged, his teammate Jackson walked over and sat down beside him. “Hey Gabe, don’t worry about it. You did your best. Remember last week when we had guys on second and third and two outs, and I was up? I smacked the ball right into the pitcher’s glove. Three outs; game over. I was so bummed. I was ashamed that I messed up and let everybody down.”
Gabe looked over at Jackson, one of the team’s best players. Jackson had felt ashamed? “But that night, I was reading my Bible,” Jackson said. “And I read this verse that said, if we look to God, we won’t be weighed down, and our faces won’t be ashamed (see Psalm 34:5). I thought it was great how the verse talked about exactly what I was feeling that day.”
Jackson understood how Gabe felt because Jackson had been there himself. And when he had felt discouraged, God comforted him through His Word. Now he could share that comfort with Gabe.
One of the reasons God lets us go through hard times is so that He can show us His strength by the way He comforts us. Sometimes He does that not by taking the hard times away, but by giving us strength to face them. Then when our Christian friends are facing similar hard times, we can share with them how God strengthened us – and how He will strengthen them, too.
God comforts us in our hard times so we can comfort others in their hard times.
» How has God helped me when I was facing hard times?
» How can I pass on that comfort to Christian friends who are facing hard times right now ?
Truth In Real Life
“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure, so that I may save souls.”
David Brainerd – who came to be known as the “pioneer for modern missions” – was born on April 20, 1718, in Haddam, Connecticut. The year that he was born, Jonathan Edwards was 14 years old, and Benjamin Franklin was 12. The world was being prepared for the Great Awakening.
Brainerd did not have an easy life. His father died when Brainerd was 9, and his mother died when he was 14. After his mother’s death, he was sent to live with his married sister. Incredibly, by age 20, he was beginning to desire to be in the ministry, yet he wasn’t even a Christian yet!
At age 21, Brainerd genuinely trusted Jesus Christ and gave his life to Him. He enrolled in Yale University, where he studied hard. He was often sick, yet he did his best. While he was in college, the First Great Awakening began, and the famous British evangelist George Whitefield visited to preach in the British North American colonies.
Before he finished at Yale, Brainerd was expelled for refusing to apologize for something he believed. He left Yale and became a missionary to the Indians. It was not his idea of the best timing or how he had planned to go into ministry, but for him, it was God’s leading in his life.
During the month of his 25th birthday, Brainerd moved to a reservation and began preaching the Gospel to the Native Americans, specifically the Delaware tribe. He lived alone in a small wigwam and traveled around to preach. In less than one year, he was pastoring a church of over 130 Native Americans who had become Christians – an amazing exhibit of the grace and power of God’s Gospel!
Sadly, Brainerd became ill (probably with tuberculosis) and died when he was just 29 years old. He died in the home of Jonathan Edwards, whose daughter he had planned to marry. David Brainerd was actually a Christian himself for only eight years and a missionary for only four years! And yet he is known now as the most influential missionary to Native Americans ever. His story serves to remind us that God uses those who trust Him, even when it is hard.
Are you willing to serve God even when you face tough times? Do you find yourself forgetting sometimes that God can make His strength perfect even in your weakness?
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.