Yesterday on my drive home from work, I decided to take a little break from listening to my beloved Michael Buble Christmas album (which rarely happens this time of year!) and listen to one of my favorite local Christian radio stations. As soon as I tuned in, the afternoon host began to talk about how important it is for us to have older, wiser believers in our lives to encourage us in our walk with God. It reminded me of something I read in the last chapter of John Piper’s book When the Darkness Will Not Lift, and I’d like to share it with you:
“For most people who are passing through the dark night of the soul, the turnaround will come because God brings unwavering lovers of Christ into their lives who do not give up on them.”
You see, receiving encouragement from mature believers is crucial when we’re in the valley–and, come to think of it, it can be helpful when we’re on the mountaintop, too. I know for me, sometimes I just need to hear the words, “You are doing WELL.” I am so blessed to have people in my life who have come alongside me and not only encourage me when I’m feeling down, but also point out to me when I’m running the race well.
I’ve shared this verse before, but I just love what 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 tells us about comforting others:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
This verse reminds us that we are not comforted by God merely for our own benefit; in fact, it implies that part of the reason we’re comforted by God is so that we can comfort others and draw them toward our God, the God of all comfort. It requires us to take action with the love and mercy God has shown us.
Today I’m thankful for God-fearing parents who bring out the best in me, a mentor who points me to the Word, a sister who lets me vent to her and many other friends and family members who have been an encouragement to me. And today, I’m praying for more opportunities to share the comfort I have received with others. How about you?
*New to my series on John Piper’s When the Darkness Will Not Lift? Links to previous posts on this topic are below: