"Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:4
In the above verse, God's Word starts by telling us that He is our comforter in everything we go through; then He tells us that as a result, we can be a comfort and blessing to others. Now here's the part of the verse that we should really pay close attention to. God says where that comfort for others should come from; the comfort we received from God.
It's been troubling me for a long while now that many believers share posts online that are inspired and written by others. Who are the others who have written them? We don't know unless they sign their names to the bottom of it. I've read many and receive many, However, they are not inspired or are they the words of the one who is trying to encourage me. They are someone else's words for whatever they have experienced. I'm not saying that one cannot be encouraged by them from time to time, but what I am saying is that God has made it clear that the words of encouragement, comfort and support should be out of one's own personal experience and interaction with the Lord.
What has God done for you lately? Don't you want to shout it from the mountain top? Don't you want to share it with others? Don't you want others to draw near to God and come into experiencing Him on a more intimate level? In order for that to happen we must share what the Lord God has done for us when we were going through trials, afflictions, triumphs and blessing. It must come straight from our mouth.
If God has done anything for you, please don't bypass sharing voice to voice or face to face with persons who are in trials of afflictions and who are experiencing challenges. They need to hear from you so they can be comforted and encouraged to keep pressing on and to keep trusting the Lord God.
So, the next time you are tempted to go online and share a post that someone else wrote, resist the temptation by simply sharing in your own words. Better yet, pick up the phone and call the person voice to voice. That is the most effective way to comfort and encourage another.
At every stage in our lives there are decisions to be made. Some will be tough and challenging while others will be no brainers, as far as decisions are concerned. But what about the ones that hit closer to home; decisions that sever ties, decisions to leave a workplace, or decisions that require us changing something about ourselves?
It will never be easy to make different choices, but it will more than likely be necessary. It's never easy to cut ties with certain individuals, or to walk away from friendships that we have poured into. If the relationship hasn't helped us to grow, to be stimulated, or to be better persons, we will need to part ties.
We are told in the Word of God, " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV) Relationships are needed; however, we want the ones that are inspiring us to grow spiritually, the ones that encourage us in general and the ones that we simply enjoy for healthy reasons. Sometimes we must know when to let go and trust God to bring the right relationships into our lives.
God is the best person to help in deciding whether or not to stay at the job we're at, or to look for another. He knows where we can be the most effective and valuable to a workplace and its atmosphere. He also has in mind for us to be a light in the midst of darkness.
There are decisions to be made when it comes to ourselves and the inner self so to speak. We are all a work in progress and will continue to be until the day God calls us home or raptures us up. Nevertheless, there are things right here and now that we need to change. Sitting at the feet of Jesus daily helps us to look into that mirror and see where we line up with what pleases God. It is there that He reveals or reminds us of the things we should put on and put off. How are we doing so far? We are early into the New Year and should be working on what we need to start and stop doing.
Are we there yet? Time is running out. We don't have as much time as we think. So, let us examine our lives closely with a fine-tooth comb and do the excavation work that it calls for so that we can be the most effective as we serve the Lord God!