Tuesday, 11 July 2017

I am Encouraged 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 by Susan L.

  "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." NKJ
  "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say." JCB

  What a beautiful passage. What a blessing!
  What does it mean to live knowing eternal comfort? Knowing we need comfort for eternity must surely mean we also need comforting.
  Being troubled or hurting doesn't make us poor followers of Jesus. It's what we do with the pain. It's how and where we direct it. It's the words we say, the thoughts we think...It's doing no harm to others...
  It's doing more than not harming, we are called to love.
  I struggled for a long time as a new Christian regarding this because I believed it was okay for someone to keep hurting me, that loving them like Jesus meant I had to be a doormat. That's not love. For them or myself. I slowly came to realize that I can love them from a distance if my safety or well being is at risk. I confess in some situations it has taken a while to love them. It's a work in progress. :)
  Paul uses the word "comfort" twice in the JCB translation. The first time, he is using it to describe a thing. Comfort is a soothing balm applied to our wounds. It's peace in the midst of trials.
  The second time, comfort is a verb, an action. That's when Jesus wraps our hearts and minds in His presence. Anyone who has ever thrown their arms around a friend who has lost a loved one is doing what Jesus does for us. He doesn't tell us to stop hurting, stop grieving, He simply lets us know He is with us and grants us the strength to persevere by shoring up our faith in Him.
  Faith is a gift worthy of kings. It's a gift the King of kings used every moment of His life; in laughter, in trials, in sharing the Good News His presence on earth meant.
  A few posts ago I was broadsided by the ungodly, hope stealing belief "You'll never be good enough." Since then there's been so many positive things happen, so much comfort poured my way that it has been sent scurrying back to the dark depths where it came from.
  The lie may pop up again, it's got many roots but they are slowly being pulled out. In that I am encouraged. I am also greatly encouraged because not that long ago, if something like this came up, it would have put me into a tailspin for a long time. It didn't this time. Praise God! Jesus threw His comforting arms around me so fast, it didn't have a chance to grab hold and suck me into the Black River. Being in His arms has changed me so much that the lie was more like a mosquito bite that only itched for a couple of days.
  I know what it is to live without hope. Even as a Christian there were many dark days when putting one foot in front of the other required a monumental effort. If you are going through hard times, let me hold onto hope for you. Whenever you're ready, it's here because I know that one day you will be able to hold onto it all on your own. Besides, there's one thing guaranteed to get you through that's better than hope, it's faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment