Every week churches are filled with people experiencing a wide range of problems, and as believers, we’re to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). This isn’t just the job of the pastor-he can’t possibly know about every need in the congregation. That’s why we’re all called to help each other practically and spiritually. But doing this may require some changes on our part. For example, awareness is necessary. If we’re not sensitive to what people are facing, how can we pray for them or offer some kind of support? Ask the Spirit to help you tune in to the struggles of others. Also, acceptance is needed. We’re to accept fellow believers as Christ has accepted us. That means being willing to share the burdens of others, no matter who they are. Do you limit your support to family and friends, or do you show love to all your neighbors? We also need to make ourselves available. Helping people may not be convenient, but a faith community thrives when we make time to be there for those around us. The Lord is ultimately the one who comforts the hurting and helps the weak, but He often does this through His people.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 2, 2022.
Another way to face challenges through prayer is by inviting others to join in. This requires courage, especially for private people. But it can be a strengthening and encouraging experience to hear another person intercede for us. In addition, God may provide a solution through one of our prayer partners.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 25, 2022.
Since the world finds holiness, obedience, and reverence for God confusing or even offensive, taking a stand for righteousness may bring you criticism instead of praise. Don’t fear the intimidation, you are blessed (Matthew 5:10).
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, July 23, 2020.
Many people think that when God comforts us, our hardships should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that comfort can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with hardships. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will later become an opportunity to minister to other people suffering similar hardships.
If you have a need today, take it to your Father in heaven knowing that His grace is sufficient for you. Trust Him for how that grace will be manifested.
Commentary from: The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, April 16 (Tyndale House Publishers, 2003), and Turning Points Magazine and Devotional, by Dr. David Jeremiah, April 15/16.