When a little child falls down and scrapes their knee they run crying to mommy or daddy with tears running down their face. Mom and dad take the little child into their arms, set them on their lap, and hug them as they put a Band-Aid on their “ouchy”. It hurts but for some reason the Band-Aid seems to magically help the pain go away because mom and dad said it would. But what really, really helps is mommy or daddy holding them. For some reason that lessens the pain! Go figure.
That’s what we do when we are hurting. We go to our heavenly Father. Spiritually speaking, he takes us into his arms and holds us. Like the Shepherd David said 3,000 years ago, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Additionally, God uses each one of us to hold one another in difficult times. And again, for some beautiful reason unknown to us it actually helps to have comfort and encouragement and someone alongside us. We are to be the hands and the feet and the arms and the lap of God for one another.
The apostle Paul writes, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). In I Thessalonians Paul comforts Christians who are struggling in their faith. He also instructs those who are stronger to help the weak. He doesn’t tell them to simply pray for the person (although that is very much needed). He doesn’t instruct them to tell the weaker Christian to “toughen up from crying out loud”. Rather Paul writes, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing…We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (I Thessalonians 5:11,14).
Read Romans 12:9-21. Then listen When the Rain Comes by Third Day. The song comforts us in our struggles and encourages us to help others who are going through a rough time.
Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
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