Comforting the comforter 

2 Corinthians 1:3,4

It has been said that only the one who has been through something can testify to another how to ‘get over’ their similar issue. 

It has been thought that only a recovered alcoholic can truly minister to the alcoholic because the recovered drinker has been there and done that. To be sure, there is some logic to that notion. No doubt. If I want to know how to do something and do it well, I would seek one who has been there before too. Someone who has the ability to explain my path forward in as much detail as my curious mind may require. Children ask adults questions not always to be annoying, but because they know not what they do. 

So what of the times that will come that shall bring tribulations, which is a stained-glass word for the struggles of life? How are we to face those days? How does the faithful find comfort when they have heard so much tribulation even the most devout is now disquieted? What is the faithful to do when the confessions and mentoring has reached a tipping point and their mind is full of sinful thoughts we are unable to release the pain? 

This passage tells us that the same comforter that restores the stressed person, whom we as leaders of the Christian church will pray the Holy Spirit upon, will also fall upon us. What I see this passage saying is that the cycle of comfort is reciprocal and cyclical. That while we for comfort to the disconsolate we will receive comfort from The Holy One. Said another way, if you are not comforted, seek another that is discomforted and pray with them. Hold their hand and walk with them. Receive the blessing of comfort from the Holy Spirit and pay it forward to those who may not know the Lord. In so doing, the Word says that we will be comforted too. 

Your might say that this struggle I have, there cannot be any comfort for me. This pain is too strong and my scars are too deep. I say to you that the God we serve says that He is the God of all comfort. No pain or struggle, sadness or disappointment is stronger than the mighty God we serve. If we just stay in faith with him and continue to be a comforter to others, the Lord will be a comfort to us as well. He will fill us up and never let us run dry. Amen

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Grace, before. 

2 Timothy 1:9

This passage is shocking to the new Christian who may not realize that Jesus was here at the beginning. What beginning? The beginning before the world was formed. Before the stars were flung against the inky blue blackness of space and time. Before there was form in the void. Before you yourself were corporeal and walked. 

Before. 
In this passage I see God reveal to me the awesome truth of salvation. That we cannot do anything to earn his grace. We could work day in and day out to the glory of his kingdom without ceasing and without rest. We could raise the dead and converse with every being the universe has and share the gospel to all who have ears. We could live faultless from this day forward and cause no one to stumble. We could pastor the pastor and give peace to the troubled everywhere. And yet we still could not earn a place in his palace of many rooms where Jesus might go to prepare for us. Our works are insufficient in his sight. Yet he will welcome us in if we just accept his grace. But I thought he gave his grace to us 2000 years ago. Not before it all began. 

Therein lies the shock. 

What grace could Jesus have given us before the known universe even began? Timothy is saying that grace and purpose are not mutually exclusive. The purpose of God is not to set down commandment after commandment law after law and edict after edict by which he will judge us worthy or wanting. It seems to this uneducated deacon that Gods purpose is to reveal grace to us. Grace to be his representative on earth. Grace to receive his blessings here and now to his glory. Grace that we might do unto others as he has done unto us. Grace to receive the right hand of fellowship in his presence. Grace to enter thou in, as his good and faithful servant. Grace to receive the blood of Christ which we didn’t earn but he gave willingly for our sake. Grace to be in relationship with the eternal and living God. Grace to be ever ready to practice mercy on those who have done wrong and deserve justice, but instead receive…. grace. 

And he planned it in the beginning when the holy trinity were as one in the beginning. Before.