Sunday, November 20, 2011

THINK ON THESE THINGS - SUNDAY

COMFORT THE BROKEN


As if times are not confusing and crazy enough these days, here come the annual end of year holidays where Faith, Family and Food all mix in a fluid flow of fantastic fellowship. 


It is the kind of fellowship which runs for the better part of a month. 
It is the kind of fellowship which brings so much joy to many. 
But it is also the kind of fellowship and season which brings depression, sadness and loneliness to many!


In fact, this time of year - starting from Thanksgiving week to New Year's day - is an officially recognized type of depression call Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D.

What an appropriate abbreviation for all of this - S.A.D!



What we find, even in the midst of large groups in some families, community groups, churches and in offices, is the absolute despair and inability to cope with life, as we know it today. Without getting into detail, which we don't really need to, let's see this week...and yes, this Christmas season, if we can't reach out and bless someone who is adrift in such a sea of despair.


Many people do not have a support mechanism or even a friend they can rely on....the type of friend who is a phone call away to encourage and pray with you....the type of friend who is closer than a Brother, like Jesus is! The vast majority of depressed folks this time of year, fall into that category.


Can YOU be that friend....to the older man at work, who has health problems or maybe his wife was sent to a nursing home?
Can YOU be that friend....to the single mom, who has been made to feel like trash by men who gave other men like us, a bad name?
Can YOU be that friend....to that young person in your church, who comes week after week, sings praise songs, listens to a sermon going over her head which means nothing to reality...and leaves even more confused and hurt than when she/he came in?
Can you?

There is so much, we can fill up a book. The issue is - how can we love on that person? How can we "comfort the brokenhearted" as Christ did? What does that love LOOK like?



First, let's not attempt to solve one problem by creating another! This love is not emotional or physical! It is AGAPE love! The kind of love Christ has for us! Another thing - be careful about hugging another member of the opposite sex, who is NOT a family member...and especially if you or that other person is married! This is a prescription for potential disaster.


All we need to do in this time of despair, loneliness, tumult and chaos is give Grace! That is the same Grace which Jesus Christ showed us, friends!  


Grace is unmerited favor. 
When you give that grace, do not expect anything in return! 
Give it freely! 
Share your blessings!
Buy them a gift from a Christian bookstore or something!
Listen to their complaints! 
Point out YOUR testimonies! 
Tell them how God dealt with similar issues in your life! 
Tell how God's provision came when you least expected it. 
Tell how Jehovah Shammah - will be there, if He is called upon with a true and hurting and repentant heart. Tell of His love before you show them the Scriptures. 
Then show that Word to confirm your blessings.


Here is a short list, to underline my list above,  from a book by the son of Henry Blackaby - Richard- who said in his book called "Putting A Face on Grace", the following:
•    Speak words intended to build up, not to bring down.
•    Focus on their need rather than your own.
•    Freely forgive.
•    Swallow you pride and say, “I’m sorry”, and “I was wrong.”
•    Live your life with a goal of “no regrets”.
•    Don’t keep score of what is fair.
•    Grace doesn’t condemn or give up on people.
•    Grace emphasizes mercy, not justice.
•    Read 1 Corinthians 13 regularly.
Friends, if you want Grace yourself, show some. If you want mercy, show some and if you want compassion, show some!
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Micah 6:8 which says "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
This is the command! If you wish to be like Christ, as most Christians say they do, this is your verse!
Jesus said "the Spirit of the Lord is upon me...and He anointed Me to bring good news....and bind up (or COMFORT) the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1)" Are you sure you wish to be like Him? Well, here is your chance to prove His Love - by Compassion to His People!
(Image by Google Images)

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