“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3)
“Strike three; you’re out!” The umpire shouted the dreaded words. The small crowd of parents and siblings was silent as Gabe shuffled back to the bench, tossing his bat in the dirt.
Gabe sat down on the far end of the bench and sighed. He was sure that last pitch had been a ball – that’s why he hadn’t swung. He could not believe he had struck out for the second time in one game. Why could he not come through when all his team needed was a simple base hit?
As Gabe felt more and more discouraged, his teammate Jackson walked over and sat down beside him. “Hey Gabe, don’t worry about it. You did your best. Remember last week when we had guys on second and third and two outs, and I was up? I smacked the ball right into the pitcher’s glove. Three outs; game over. I was so bummed. I was ashamed that I messed up and let everybody down.”
Gabe looked over at Jackson, one of the team’s best players. Jackson had felt ashamed? “But that night, I was reading my Bible,” Jackson said. “And I read this verse that said, if we look to God, we won’t be weighed down, and our faces won’t be ashamed (see Psalm 34:5). I thought it was great how the verse talked about exactly what I was feeling that day.”
Jackson understood how Gabe felt because Jackson had been there himself. And when he had felt discouraged, God comforted him through His Word. Now he could share that comfort with Gabe.
One of the reasons God lets us go through hard times is so that He can show us His strength by the way He comforts us. Sometimes He does that not by taking the hard times away, but by giving us strength to face them. Then when our Christian friends are facing similar hard times, we can share with them how God strengthened us – and how He will strengthen them, too.
God comforts us in our hard times so we can comfort others in their hard times.
» How has God helped me when I was facing hard times?
» How can I pass on that comfort to Christian friends who are facing hard times right now ?