How could Paul and Silas sing praises to God in the depths of a stinking, cold Roman prison? Their backs were raw because they had been beaten with whips and rods.
Their feet were in stocks and the jailer had threatened to execute them if they tried to escape. Paul and Silas could sing because God was with them in the inner dungeon while they were hurting.
The psalmist writes, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) Whether we experience physical, emotional, or mental pain, the Holy Spirit will comfort us and give us strength and courage to triumph over our hurts.
Several Campus Crusade for Christ staff members have lost small children to accidental death or disease. They tell me that it is one of the most agonizing crises that a person can ever go through. Tears flow for months; muscles are sore from sobbing. Many unbelieving couples break up afterwards due to guilt and blame. But many followers of Christ testify, "That was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced, but I have to tell you that God was so very near to me that I felt His presence like I have never felt Him before."
Although Scripture is clear that God is present everywhere at once, parents who have lost children give evidence that God manifests His presence in special ways at particular times of need. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Paul assures us, "[God] is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others."
Your View of God Really Matters ...
Are you hurting? Remember the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and receive His peace. He is with you. Acknowledge His presence. Call on Him in the midst of your pain. Do you know someone who is hurting? Go comfort them by helping provide for their needs today.
Learn more about God’s character at Discover God, by Bright Media Foundation, an affiliate of Cru.
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Bright Media Foundation is an affiliate of Cru.
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