shamed

So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. Acts5:41

In The Church I was shamed by the pastor for rightly discerning false teaching the camp and boldly calling it out. (Warning & exposing the darkness.)

In The Church I was shamed by the pastor for caring for and helping suffering Christians. (Loving one another; loving Christians.)

In the assembly (ekklesia) , I know that I am allowed to use my spiritual gifts that He has given me, as He leads me by His Spirit, to be a witness to the world, boldly preach truth,  to minister to & help the suffering, and to edify the saints.

And there, I am not shamed for doing so.

Got Encouragement?

I guess you can say I learned the hard way not to seek comfort and encouragement from mortal flesh. There are a number of reasons why, that I won’t get into here. Jesus taught me instead, to go straight to Him. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear that we in the body of Christ should comfort and encourage one another, as brothers and sisters in the family of God. This is not easy to do. We should at least try. I’ve personally found that suffering and dealing with discouragement has made it a lot easier for me to want to try to be encouraging to other hurting brethren.

Once, a very wise and loving friend told me, “I do not know how to help you, but I know the One who can.” That was a very encouraging thing to say. And she is right. She did not condemn or rebuke me for my sorrow and grief, and lack of spirituality, but loved me selflessly, pointing me to Jesus, our loving, caring Redeemer and Friend. She lovingly offered encouragement, to the best of her ability.

I don’t offer encouragement here because I have it together, but because I don’t. I desire to pass on to you, things the Lord has given me that have encouraged me immensely. I hope to share this encouragement with you. So here is a message, below, that is most helpful.

This talk was given to college students, but the lesson is for all of us. The speaker uses a hymn I had never heard before as the basis for his point. It must be old, but it is full of encouraging truth. My brother or sister, I hope this helps and blesses you.

Therefore, encourage one another…1Thes.5:11.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom.15:13.

Audio: More than enough hope.

    MY HOPE IS IN THE LORD  by: Norman Clayton

My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.

No merit of my own His anger to suppress,
My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.

For me He died, For me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.

And now for me He stands Before the Father’s throne,
He shows His wounded hands, and names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all, Tis mine but to believe,
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.


			

God of All Comfort

Our wonderful God is a God of suffering and comfort. He knows and understands the trials we go through. Jesus Himself experienced these things. He has sympathy. The Holy Spirit brings comfort. Our comfort we receive from Him is not the end of this process. He calls us to love one another. Sometimes this means weeping with those who weep. Sometimes this means comforting one another, because of our love for the brethren. Sometimes this means bearing one another’s burdens, and thus fulfilling the law of Christ.

Often we can have the sympathy to comfort one another, if we have suffered a little ourselves. The more I have suffered, the more He has made it possible for me to sympathize with, and comfort others. One of the many reasons I am glad for the trials I have gone through, is it has made me see my suffering brothers and sisters with new understanding. The comfort God has given me, I now have to give.

God of All Comfort
by Mike Ratliff

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV)

Suffering is part of life. It is part of the curse that fell upon all creation after Adam’s sin. (Genesis 3) There are some preachers who have taken sections of the Bible out of context to make it say that suffering happens only to those who “have sin in their life.” Well, I suppose part of that is true. We all sin. However, the suffering that comes upon us is not necessarily a punishment from God for some specific sin. Our tests and trials are painful and stressful. They are tests of faith just as much as they are sickness or mental problems. In fact, God uses our suffering for His own purposes in our hearts as well as in the hearts of those whom we minister to.

I have never met a Christian who has survived some big trial in their life who was not also eager and able to help others who are going through trials like that of their own.

Read the rest of this article here.

Related post: Suffering and Sympathy