Be There For Others, As God was There For You!

Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal more so than any drug or doctor we could recommend; He’s our Guide, our Partner and our Friend when we face hard times; We are worthy of His confidence in comforting others facing similar challenges to what God has brought us through. What a Mighty God we serve!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-02
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

OBSERVATION: Several points of encouragement in these verses: Our God is one who could heal even when there is not a drug or doctor who could; He’s also our Guide, our Deliverer, our Protector and our Friend when we face hard times; We are blessed beyond anything we deserve and we can easily be a comfort to others facing similar challenges to what God brought us through. We serve a Mighty God!

APPLICATION: When we are going through challenging times in life, as all of us do at times, we either call a friend, or a trusted counselor, like a pastor or Christian Brother or Sister. Isn’t it rewarding to read what God inspired Paul to write in these verses, and be reminded that He is:
~ A God of all mercy – which means that He will listen to even us as we petition before Him. Think about it, what have we done to deserve anything from a perfect and holy God?;
~ A God of healing counsel – I believe that this encourages me that no matter what may be going on physically or mentally with us, God designed us and He therefore has the power to heal us, and/or give us counsel for whatever is needed. I love to attend a physician that has a photo showing Jesus looking over his shoulder, indicating that Jesus is counselling the doctor on what is best for us – the patients!
~ A God who stands by us, guides and protects us – I see this as not only being our pilot in our autos, but also as we walk along every aspect of life itself. Perhaps it might be health, or perhaps a drive along a dangerous road, or we may be wandering along in the woods or just struggling to make challenging decisions. Friends, with God by our side, what have we to fear?
The biggest takeaway for us, is that God will often cause us to walk alongside someone who could benefit from our experiences where He has healed us, protected us, or just been so gracious and loving to us. I recently had a medical practitioner who was going in for back surgery, with the same facility that I had used about 8 times. His spirits were lifted as I shared first hand experience with him, as to what he might expect along each step of his surgery and recovery. This is the same scenario as in many other experiences in life, for it opens the door for you to share how God has blessed you. I hope that you are looking for those opportunities and sharing as much as you could. Promoting the God Who has blessed us, and that we love dearly, is always a good thing friends!

PRAYER: We are once again reminded of Your love Lord Jesus! There is no shortage of friends and family who need encouragement from us, and as You guide us to those individuals today dear Lord, please fill us with Your Holy Spirit so that we may have the words and gentleness of heart to share in a way that would draw that individual unto yourself. Oh how sweet the name of Jesus is to a believer’s ear! Oh that others may be convinced of that as we share Your love from sincere and blessed hearts. I ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

God Knows Our Need for Reassurance

Ever been discouraged, because it seemed like the more you did in kingdom work, the more you felt like the people hated you and didn’t appreciate your sacrifice and hard work? As we read through the New Testament we could see that Paul was especially hit hard by the people he ministered to. In fact you might wonder, how on earth did he keep on going? Well, we see in today’s Scripture that the God he served, was also the God who cared for him and encouraged him. Meditate with me, for you might also need this reassurance as you participate in kingdom work here on earth.

Wednesday, 2020-02-26

Bible Reference: Acts 23:10-12
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 10 The argument was beginning to turn into such a fight that the commander was afraid some evil people would tear Paul to pieces. So he told the soldiers to go down and take Paul away and put him in the army building. 11 The next night the Lord came and stood by Paul. He said, “Be brave! You have told people in Jerusalem about me. You must do the same in Rome.” 12 In the morning some evil people made a plan to kill Paul, and they took an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed him.

OBSERVATION: Ever been discouraged, because it seemed like the more you did in kingdom work, the more you felt like the people hated you and didn’t appreciate your sacrifice and hard work? As we read through the New Testament we could see that Paul was especially hit hard by the people he ministered to. In fact you might wonder, how on earth did he keep on going? Well, we see in today’s Scripture that the God he served, was also the God who cared for him and encouraged him. Meditate with me, for you might also need this reassurance as you participate in kingdom work here on earth.

APPLICATION: Have you ever been in doubt about whether you were doing God’s will, when suddenly you receive a revelation, or confirmation that you are convinced, came from God? This is what happened to Paul. His very life was threatened because of his honest words before the Sadducees and Pharisees. The commander saw this coming, so he locked Paul up, for his own protection. However, this gave the people more time to plan a strategy that would lead to murdering Paul. As for Paul though, the Lord came and stood by Paul’s side that night in captivity and reassured him of the next phase of his ministry. Now, did the Lord know what the evil ones was conjuring up in their minds, and their subsequent plans for the next day? Of course He knew, and therefore felt it was imperative to visit with Paul to comfort him (for He stood by Paul’s side), and to give reassurance about his next steps. Was it coincidence that this occurred the night before Paul’s nephew would run to him and tell him about a plot to kill him? Of course not, for Paul was reminded that in spite of what the world had planned to do with him, God’s will would be accomplished. Wow, now stop and imagine that, as children/servants of God, we have that same reassurance as Paul was given! So why do we fear? Why do we worry? Why do we take the concerns of this world on our shoulders? God is in control, no matter what the world or its leaders may have in mind! What a peace is ours dear friends! I plead with you that you join me in building this type relationship with our Savior, that no matter how dismal a situation may seem, we could rest easy in knowing that God is on your side, and He will accomplish His will in and/or through us. Although I believe that God wants to hear from His children on the desires of their heart, I believe that He is even more interested that we relax and allow Him to be God in our lives and in all of life’s situations. Have you ever stopped and said to yourself, “well I don’t know where to go from here, for I have done everything I know to do”? It is often times like these when we throw our hands up and decide to turn a situation over to God, isn’t it? I believe this lesson is teaching us to allow God in on the very ground level, and if things are about to get out of control, at least in our minds, that God would whisper reassurance to us. In what form might this come today? Friends, our communication lines today are just as they were in Paul’s day. Stay in close communion with God through His Word (the Bible), through prayer, and close communion and fellowship with other believers. Remember that old song, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way”? Remind yourself of that when you have done all that He demands of you. Friends, let Him be God!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how reassuring to know that You are by my side, when life appears to be a daily joy, and when I struggle to see how tomorrow could possibly be any worse than today. You have shown Your presence in so many ways through so many situations in my life already, and You have always come through in so many ways for me. I pray that I might be quick to realize this when Your will may sometime be in opposition to what I envision for me. I pray that I might always be open to, and accepting of, Your will for me, regardless of my plans and my desires. Friends meditating on this devotional with me might be challenged with a day or night of frustration where life here on this earth appears impossible, and especially in their area of ministry. Please stand by their side today, as You did for Paul, and encourage them. Nudge them on their way and show them hope in all that You would have them do for You here on planet earth. Continue to accomplish great things in and through Your willing servants today, is my humble pray that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Sensitive To Giving Comfort

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Probably one of the more challenging things we face, is trying to comfort someone who is really hurting. Here is an idea that you may never have thought of – straight from the Word of God! Try to read the whole devotional, and look for your blessing, friend!………

Today’s Scripture: “Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him. When they first caught sight of him, they couldn’t believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭2:11-13‬ ‭MSG‬‬    http://bible.com/97/job.2.11-13.msg

My Take Away: In a recent study I shared with you how Job’s wife tried to comfort Him by telling him to curse the God who brought so much trouble on him. Of course we know that Job absolutely refused to turn his back on his God. In this scripture today I found a few things very interesting:

  1. Unless we are careful in reading this scripture, we may think that Job’s friends must have picked up their cell phones and collaborated on the best time for their visit, right?!!! Well, in all seriousness, we know that was not the case! So for these guys to leave their homes in various parts of the country, don’t you suppose that this was a part of God’s plan to bring this concerted comfort to His humble servant in his time of need? Our application: This should bring comfort to us, because we must believe that the God of Job – our Heavenly Father, our God, will also do the same for us in our times of desperation and need;
  2. The hearts of these three friends were so sensitive to the needs of Job, that they saw his desperation from a distance and was immediately impacted in deep empathy for their friend. Our application: I feel like we are way too distracted in thinking about our own struggles, and what scenario in our life could top the circumstances of the friend who is sharing, or about to share his or her needs or struggles with us. We have to learn to be good listeners, without worrying about whether we might have a good answer or solution for our friend, or the need to share our needs with them so they won’t feel alone in their struggles. A friend will listen and even repeat what they thought they heard, so that the friend in need would know that you are taking in everything they are saying.
  3. The friends joined Job where he was at – on the ground, and just sat there with him – quiet – for one…. two….. three…. four…. five….. six….. seven whole days in total silence. Our application: When we say to a friend that we will stop by and visit to help bring comfort to them, how long are we prepared to visit? Can we possibly keep our sanity for seven days in total silence with three other wonderful friends around us? What about our digital devices? If we value the quality of quiet time with a friend in need, surely we won’t be rude enough to sit in their presence on our cell phone or tablet, right? Isn’t this something to think about friend?

So I believe the challenge for us today from these Words of truth, is to stop and think about those in need of comfort, and to not shrug off our responsibility, or calling, to be there for them but to allow the Holy Spirit to direct us as we visit. It may be through an encouraging word that we bring comfort to a friend, or it may just be our presence, without any words at all. Either way, we are expressing our desire to be there for our friend, and being obedient to God in saying only what He ordains.

Prayer: Father, I believe that each reader will recognize that they have been on both sides of this scenario at one time or another in their life. Please help us as a patient, or person in need, to welcome friends when we would rather just be alone, for often God has seen our need and sent some friends over to encourage us. As a visitor, please help us to stop finding excuses and actually go out and visit, then as we visit to remember our purpose for visiting is to encourage the one that we visit, and not spend the time relaying our lifetime of struggles. Especially challenging will be the possibility of just sitting in silence, if that serves a purpose. So Lord, please especially help us in that regard. Bottom line is that we share Your love, Your concern, and Your touch through our visit, so that You may be honored and praised, while also being of encouragement to our friend. These are challenging Lord, so we desperately need Your help, guidance and direction in these circumstances Lord. Thanks for Your assurance of always being with us! May we learn to get out of the way so that You may work a miracle in the life of our friends that we visit. AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
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