Monday, July 29, 2013

Called to Christian Community

Over the past several weeks, I have had a handful of very dear friends reach out to me for prayer regarding tough circumstances:  infertility, unfaithfulness in marriage, sickness, indecision, and heartbreak.

My heart has been heavy for these women.

As often as the Spirit reminds me I am beseeching the throne of God for them asking Him to bring relief, to grant mercy, to heal, to impart wisdom, to do a miracle, AND to be their comfort.

In the past year I've had a few tough circumstances of my own where I was desperate for God to break through.  In those moments, I reached out for prayer to many of these same dear friends who are now experiencing difficulty. 

I firmly believe that God used them as His ambassadors to bring comfort to my despaired heart & mind.  And the comfort I received was grounded in God's truth and administered through faithful prayers lifted up with and for me. 

Last night my heart was especially heavy for a few of these dear friends. And I was drawn to the verses in 2 Corinthians 1 entitled, The God of All Comfort:

"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.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

I received so much comfort from God through these dear friends and so my prayer is that my comfort will overflow into their lives now.  I long for God to use me in their lives, just as He used them in mine.

Friends, as followers of Jesus we need each other

We are NOT called into isolation when we chose to follow Christ.
We are called into community.
A community whose source of hope and life is found in Jesus.
A community who deeply cares for each other.
A community who longs to comfort each other with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

As I ask God to use me to comfort my friends, I have also been drawn to pray that my children would be blessed with a community of believers who strive to comfort each other in difficult times. 

I long for them to have dear friends with whom they can reach out to when times are tough AND with whom reach out to my children when they themselves are experiencing difficulty. 

I long for them to understand that walking with Jesus shouldn't be a lonely walk.  Rather, Christians should walk together toward Him, picking each other up along the way when the road gets difficult.

Join me in prayer,

God, You are the God of ALL comfort.  True, lasting, and life-giving comfort is found in You and You alone.  You are its only source.  Today I pray that as my children experience difficulty in life they would receive Your comfort through dear friends.  I pray you would bless them with dear friends who have hearts centered upon You; I pray their friendship would be rooted in the truth of Your Word.  I pray they would long for Christian community.  And I pray they would give and receive Your comfort within this community. 

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