2 Corinthians 1:8… “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (KJV). Paul was testifying that he was disciplined enough to know that whenever he was in a test of faith, there was always God’s grace nearby.
A story is told of a shipwreck where the only sailor who survived was cast upon a small, uninhabited island. He prayed every day for God to rescue him. He built a hut to protect himself from the elements and to store up a few things that he saved from the shipwreck. He scanned the horizon daily. One day after searching for food he arrived at his hut, only to find his hut on fire, the smoke ascending high in the sky. He was stunned. Everything was lost. He was filled with grief and anger. “God,” he cried out, “How could you do this to me?” Early the next morning he was awaked by the sound of a ship’s whistle. “How did you know I was here?” the weary man asked. “We saw your smoke signal,” the crew replied.
The message in this story is this… It is easy to get discouraged when things are not going too well for you, but remember, God’s grace is nearby. When your “hut” is on fire and you are in pain and confused, the smoke from your trial is a signal that brings the saving grace of God. The days that we live in are filled with many pressures. God’s grace is always near. Trust in Him.
Do you ever feel empty? Do you ever get so busy that you forget the people around you who are struggling? Have you ever thought that they might need an encouraging word from you? Hebrews 10:24 reads, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (KJV). This word asks us to be concerned about others who are going through ups and downs. Have you ever studied to find out just what will help another? Have you ever wondered what is it that is pulling someone down? When I come across someone who is hurting, I try to remember to ask myself, “Lord, how can I help so and so?” The Holy Spirit wants us to come along others and encourage them in a positive way. He wants you to sharpen (brighten) them up. There are people who may need a nudge or a loving push.
Pastor George Belobaba
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