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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual comfort’

Perhaps the greatest way to communicate faith to an unsaved person is to do all we can to comfort that person when things go sour in his or her life.

For it is at such times that the non-Christian can see the value of heart-comforting faith that has sustained us and that can do the same for them.

Even the non-believer understands that divorce hurts, that losing a family member to accidental death hurts, that losing a long-held job hurts.

When the non-believer sees that our hearts might be hurting yet we are also finding healing through the comfort of our faith — and we continue trying to provide blessings to others — it gets them thinking.

We’ve all faced some really tough times in life.

If we’ve held tightly to God’s hand during such times in ways that others noticed, we can testify authentically about the strength and direction we’ve found.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

That testimony of a comforted heart can provide a huge boost to our evangelistic influence.

Let’s sincerely want to help others to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s comfort them.

Let’s show them how faith in God helps us to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s show them how God comforts us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s a 3,200-year-old picture that is just as compelling now as when it occurred.

A picture of a grandmother holding her grandchild close to her chest in a moment of overwhelming joy.

The sentiments in the heart of the grandmother cannot be adequately described by words.

She is SO happy.

SO grateful.

SO content.

SO comforted.

Her heart is being filled in ways that nothing else can do.

I love seeing grandmothers filled in this way.

It’s so beautiful.

Of course, grandfathers have the same feelings.

That timeless reality — something Lori and I are savoring in our lives just now — was described in lovely fashion in a verse I read this morning in the book of Ruth.

“Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own.” (Ruth 4:16).

Knowing the back story of this word picture is what magnifies its meaning.

Naomi had lost her husband.

She had lost both of her sons.

She had lost one of her daughters-in-law.

She was nearly destitute, having had to twice move to distant lands because of famine conditions.

But then God’s amazing grace was poured out in an amazing way — read Ruth 1-4 and you’ll see how.

And here is Naomi, holding the grandchild that she feared she’d never have.

Holding the child ONLY because of God’s incredible intercession.

The next time you see a grandmother holding her grandchild close to her chest, remember the story of Naomi and her grandson Obed.

You’ll appreciate God’s grace more as a result.

As always, I love you
Martin

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You probably know a number of people who are stressed out.

Their smiles — when they happen — seem forced.

Their cushion of grace toward others is razor-thin.

Their precision of effort at work or home or elsewhere is not what it once was.

It seems that the pressure to perform according to others’ or their own expectations has twisted them into knots.

Perhaps the above descriptions apply to you.

There’s a better way.

A way out of the above.

Christians are called to show people the better way.

It’s found in Matthew 11:28-30.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

A sense of worth that is based on pleasing the world will always be high-maintenance because the world is egocentric, wanting more from us than it gives.

A sense of worth that is based on pleasing the Lord will always be low-maintenance because the Lord is exocentric, giving us more than we give Him.

That fact draws me toward living for Christ. I want to become a servant for the King who came and died to make my steps easier in life, not harder.

I smile more naturally and more often because of being in Christ.

I have more grace toward others.

My efforts are more careful and effective.

That’s definitely a better way that others need to see so that they might want to pursue the same.

I pray that you’ll embrace the same.

As always, I love you
Martin

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A teen girl, loved by her parents, graduates from high school and goes off to college. Three months into the college life, while reading the professor’s notes on a flunked test as she walked down dorm stairs, she tripped, fell and broke her leg.

Did her parents stop loving her because of the fall? No.

Did she fall because her parents had stopped loving her? No.

Did her parents’ love become more clear than ever AFTER the fall? Absolutely.

For it’s very likely that the parents poured themselves and their money into helping their daughter as quickly and fully as they could.

Could the parents’ love have prevented the fall? Not directly because they weren’t physically there to catch her.

But if she had recalled their teaching to always watch her steps when on stairs, she wouldn’t be in the mess that she was.

You see, the parents’ love never changed before or after the fall. It was just shown in priceless, nurturing ways once the fall had occurred.

Yes, the parents wished the teen would never have fallen and they had taught her over and over about how to avoid it.

But people — ourselves included — are flawed and forgetful and we eventually pay the price for it.

Thankfully, there are those willing to pay a price themselves in order to help us.

Why? Because they love us. And always will.

Why this illustration today? In Romans 8:35-37 we read the following:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

Satan wants us to think that God has stopped loving us if we find ourselves in one of the difficult situations listed above. But that is a lie, just like it’s a lie to think the teen fell down the stairs because her parents stopped loving her.

Oh, if they loved her, they would have kept her from falling,” is one of the lies. She is an adult free to make her own choices and that includes the choice to neglect a safety principle her parents had repeatedly taught her.

Faith doesn’t do its heavy lifting when things are going well, but instead when things aren’t going well.

When did the teen in the story above most clearly see and appreciate her parents’ love? After she had fallen, of course, and needed their help.

When do we most clearly see and appreciate our Father’s love? After we’ve fallen and need His help.

Listen, God’s love for us never changes even though our circumstances can change in a moment.

Before a fall, after a fall — whether caused by us or another — God loves us and helps us to find a path to victory in this life and in eternity.

And that’s the greatest kind of love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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