Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

I recently read a funny but inspiring story that a young mother was sharing. It had been a terrible day in which nothing had gone right. The washing machine broke down, she had a terrible headache, a large bill showed up in the mail in which she knew they had no money to pay, she had received some very difficult news about a family member, and her cell phone kept ringing off of the wall.

Almost to the breaking point she lifted her one year old son into his highchair, leaned her head against the tray, and began to cry. Seeing her in this state of mind, without a word or sound made her son took the pacifier out of his mouth and stuck it in hers. It was the one and maybe only way he knew of to try and bring comfort to his mother.

Scripture is full of the ways in which God comforts us during difficult days, hard circumstances, or excruciating times of trial in our lives. We turn to God because we know that he is always there and will always be there for us in those times of greatest need. The Psalms are full of these type of requests for comfort and fulfillment of comfort that comes from above.

But as God’s people who are called to follow his Son Jesus Christ we also have a responsibility to comfort those around us. In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul is talking about the Day of the Lord when Jesus will come to take the believers home to heaven to be with him. He says that we are children of the day and children of light, not children of darkness. Because of that we have hope and we should not despair when the world seems to be turning on us or against us.

In the last verse then he says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.” As Christians that is a specific call upon our lives. We are to be observant to whom needs a word or act of comfort extended to them. Who needs a visit, a card, a call, a text, or an email of encouragement? We are to extend the love of God to them and the promise that he will never leave us or forsake us when we call on him.

When we think of Jesus we think of how he comforted so many people who were outcasts or who were going through very difficult things in their life. Sometimes he said very little to them but his actions conveyed his love and his concern to them. Sounds similar to a story I read recently about a one year old boy. May the love of God and the comfort of Jesus Christ flow through us to the people he has placed around us.

Make it personal: Pray about who might need these words of comfort this week. Sometimes they are obvious because of the loss of a loved one or other difficult circumstances that people are facing. But sometimes we also need to be aware of those people who may need comfort in less obvious situations. Who might that be this week?

Blessings and Comfort in your week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church