Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Receiving Comfort

Your greatest need as you express emotional pain is for others to comfort you. This happens when you tell others your story. Someone feels your pain and shares in the sorrow with you. In a time of emotional hurt, our greatest comfort comes when others sorrow with us. The apostle Paul wrote, "God . . . comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

Jesus illustrated the ministry of comfort when His friend Lazarus died (see John II). When Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus's sisters, Mary and Martha, He wept with them. Why didn't Jesus simply tell the grieving Mary and Martha, "No need to cry, My friends, because in a few minutes Lazarus will be alive again?" Because at that moment they needed someone to identify with their hurt. Later He performed the miracle that turned their sorrow to joy.

When you experience sorrow, people may try to comfort you by cheering you up, urging you to be strong, or trying to explain away the tragic event. These people no doubt care about you and mean well by their words. But they may not know what comfort sounds like. Hopefully, there is also someone around who will provide the comfort you need. You will sense God's care and concern for you as this someone hurts with you, sorrows with you, and even weeps with you.

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