“We share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings….” 2 Corinthians 1:5
I am going to be honest, this lesson was difficult for me to lead and to write this post. I have prayed on it and I hope it comes across as God would intend it to.
The story behind this week’s lesson is one of a man, that as a child had been sexually abused. Unfortunately in this world sin occurs, and this is one sin that is almost unbearable. Luckily though he, with the help of God and his friend, was able to push through. He now uses his experience to help others.
One of the key things that helped him was when he came to understand that Jesus couldn’t interfere with the predator’s free will. If it had been taken from the predator then the abused child’s free will would not be available. God doesn’t allow us to have free will in the spiritual side of things but He does in the worldly matters.
I have a Pastor friend whom commented on this post that I wrote earlier in the week on free will. I encourage you to take the time to read that post and also his comment. It only further’s our understanding of our great and mighty Lord. I am thankful he commented.
In day one we learn about the ministry of presence. It is when you can sit with someone and just be there. Sometimes not speaking is all they need. Other than my spouse I am not sure I have been the recipient of this ministry. It sounds like a good one though, don’t you think?
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” Perfect for the Ministry of Presence don’t you think? We are never completely alone, God is with us, but we fail to remember that at times. Perhaps if we are the one extending comfort, we can be the reminder for God. I sometimes find it awkward if things are silent, so this will be a new habit to practice. One of the best things I took away from this week’s lesson was this. Asking, not assuming, provides the best way to truly comfort others. Whether it is a grieving person who is reeling from the death of a loved one or someone enduring a heartfelt breakup or other type of loss, this is the best advice. Everyone needs comfort at some time or another, but they don’t necessarily need it the way we would like. So asking is important, give them the chance to tell what it is they are needing.
Grief points was the topic for day two, and in real life they are not pretty. They normally are (at least for me) dirty, ugly, unhappy, and you feel like you are being drug through the ringer. But the grief points in our lives mark significant turning points. Normally we are mourning the loss of something, it affects us emotionally, spiritually and sometimes even physically.
We can see examples of grief points in the bible in Job 1 and 2 Samuel 11:13-22. Job did not bring his own grief point on but King David did in his, you can read more about them by clicking the links of the verses. Job and King David went through the grief points, and it brought them closer to God. In Acts 9:16, we see where God explains about Paul’s destiny.“So I shall show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” We must keep moving towards the Comforter.
Insulation of Isolation is withdrawing oneself from the presence of others. During difficult times we might seek out being alone, but we were not created for that. We were created to exist in a relationship with one another and with God. Genesis 2:18 explains it well by stating “it is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper for him.” When we combine both comfort and compassion these two work to make a difference in other people’s lives. This is what we are to strive for. So the isolation does not win out, for when someone is alone it gives Satan time to mess with our minds.
The last day I would like to discuss is in regards to serving God. Serving God represents a way of life, not a job. I absolutely love this line the author shared with us. Although there are many in ministry, serving God as their occupation, we are all responsible to live life that way. Serving God isn’t an easy task at all, and we can find many examples in the bible. One of them is Paul’s, reviewing 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. It reflects what Paul must face as he served the Lord.
Serving God takes obedience. We are obedient when we let go of control, which if you are like me, you have a hard time with. But it’s very true.L
Let’s take a look at each of the points the author has given us and reflect on our own lives. Let us take some time to digest how they are in our life and if we need to make some adjustments to live the life God wanted us to. Serving him, comforting others, and doing it together.
Please pray with me.
Although we do not understand why some things happen in our lives, we pray that we will be open to the healing you so freely give. May we recall the fact that you are with us each step of the way, and your son Jesus Christ endured our sins so we may have eternal life. The ones we have grievances with, may we forgive as you forgave us. May we open our hearts and minds to love and comfort others with you guiding through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Grace is a gift,
P. S. There will not be published post next Friday the 17th, I will do Lesson 5 on the 24th.