When tragedy strikes we will be tempted to ask “Why?” But asking “Who?” is much more appropriate when we’re hurting. WHO will walk through this with me by my side? WHO will give me strength to go on when I feel like I can’t continue? WHO will provide me with the courage I need to face another day? WHO will comfort me in my pain? WHO will pray with me and for me?
We learn the answer to these questions in Psalm 34:18 which says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Who will walk with me through this? The Lord will. Who will give you strength to go on? The Lord will. Who will provide you with the courage to face another day? The Lord will. Who will comfort you in your pain? The Lord will. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Who comforts them? The Lord comforts them.
But just how specifically you may wonder does God comfort us in our pain? The Bible tells us there are two primary ways that God comforts us when our world collapses:
- God puts strength in our hearts so we can face our trials and triumph over them. Look what 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. The word comfort here means “to come alongside and help.” When we’re in need of comfort God comes along and strengthens our hearts so we can face our trials and triumph over them. The second way God comforts us is this:
- God uses his followers, who act as the hands and feet of Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:6, “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…” How did God comfort Paul? Through Titus, a fellow Christian. God doesn’t just give you strength and courage to face and triumph over your tragedies, he also reaches down from heaven to comfort you in your pain through your church family. Your church family is God’s gift to you when you are hurting. God gave us our church family, and specifically growth groups, so that when we’re hurting we’d have: 1) people to pray for us, 2) people to bring us meals, 3) people to listen to us vent, 4) people to cry with us, and so much more. We all need a church family, and as important as this large group weekend gathering is, we also need that smaller group gathering throughout the week.
Friends – you can’t become shock proof, but you can become more shock resistance. In other words, there are some things you can do to prepare ahead of time for when trouble comes. And one of those things you can do is strengthen your relationships. When trouble comes you’re going to need the help of other people to get through what you’re going through. And this is exactly why we have growth groups at New Day. Are you in a group?