Thursday, March 19, 2015
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I was in Georgia when a friend said to me, "Do you know which team is one of the best football teams in our state?" When I said I didn't know, he said, "The Georgia School for the Deaf." I've got to tell you that kind of caught me by surprise. I wasn't expecting a school for the deaf to be like football champions. He said, "Man, we played them when I was in high school and you always had to get up for that game. They were always the toughest."
I began to think, how could you play football if you can't hear the signals being called? You can't hear the plays being called. How would you play football? He said, "Well, they bring their band to every game and the signals are called through the drum beats, and they feel the signals through their face." Well, I couldn't do that. But they can. They've got radar I don't have because they face a challenge I haven't faced.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Your Rough Times Can Help You Help Others."
Our word for today from the Word of God is in 2 Corinthians 1, beginning in verse 3. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father of compassion, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow into our lives, so also should the comfort of Christ overflow."
Verse 3 here talks about this beautiful side of God. He's the God of all comfort. He's the God of compassion; the healing hugs of God, who brings what only He can bring us; a supernatural comfort deep inside of us where no human being can go. I hope you've experienced that.
There's a comfort cycle here. It says that we're supposed to comfort with the comfort we got from Him. This word comforting is really the Greek word that means "called alongside of to help." It's saying God comes alongside to encourage us so that we then can do that for others. The comfort isn't just for us to get comfortable. It's to fill us up with love and support that we pass on to others.
How does this happen? Well, you go through a deep valley. Maybe you lose someone, you have a season alone, some lingering illness, maybe a financial disaster, or you're abandoned, you're betrayed, and it hurts. But God does something beautiful with that hurt. He turns it into sensitivity; into radar for people who are hurting in that same area.
Joni Eareckson Toda was paralyzed as a teenager in a dive that day, and it was a terrible tragedy. But the worst thing that ever happened to her has given her a worldwide ministry. She knows how disabled and wounded people feel.
My friend, Jean, was abused as a girl. She's got a wonderful ministry to abused girls. My friend, Don, was raised in a broken home. He has an incredible ability to work with kids from troubled backgrounds. When you open up your hurt and your wounds to the God of all comfort, He can use you in ways you never dreamed.
When life's trouble hits you, it can be a tool either for Satan or for God. You dwell on the pain, you dwell on the people who hurt you or on yourself, and you're going to start a downward cycle of depression. That might be where you are right now.
But if you surrender to Jesus all the pain, all those people who hurt you, all the questions, you're on your way to turning a loss into a victory like those football players at the Georgia School for the Deaf. They have special sensitivity because of their loss, because of their handicap. You can too.
It might be that you're going through so many of life's troubles, so much of life's pain without the Great Comforter, without the God of all compassion because you don't have a relationship with Him. You might have a religion, but you don't know Him personally.
I tell you that Jesus came here to walk the most painful road anyone has ever walked, to die on a brutal cross to pay for the sin that keeps us from God, so the wall could come down between you and Him this very day. And all His resources are yours to walk through the pain and the storm. Our website will show you how to get started with Him – AnewStory.com.
God can give you radar from your rough times; radar that will make you the one who can be Jesus' person for another hurting person.