“I remember you in my prayers at all times.” Ro 1:9-10 NIV
One Bible teacher writes: “We don’t look, act, or dress alike. We have different tastes in food, books, cars and music. We work at different jobs…enjoy different hobbies …but one thing we have in common. We know what it means to hurt. Suffering is universal. Tears are the same for Jews, Muslims, Christians, white, black, brown, children, adults, and the elderly. When life hurts and dreams fade we express our anguish in different ways, but each of us knows the sting of pain, heartache, disease, disaster, trials and suffering…A great preacher of yesteryear once said to a group of aspiring young ministers, ‘Preach to the suffering and you’ll never lack a congregation. There’s a broken heart in every pew.’ Suffering is the common thread in all our garments…When Peter wrote his first letter to fellow believers scattered throughout Asia he focused on the thing that drew them all together—suffering. These people were being singed by the same flames of persecution that would take the apostle’s life in just a few years. Their circumstances were the bleakest imaginable. Yet Peter didn’t try to pump them up with positive thinking. Instead, he gently reached his hand to their chins and lifted their faces skyward—so they could see beyond their circumstances to their celestial calling. Some people instinctively know what to say to encourage others; they’re the ones we look for when we’re going through hard times. Jethro encouraged Moses (See Ex 18); Epaphroditus ministered to Paul (See Php 2:25-30). Ask God to make you the kind of friend whose presence brings comfort and encouragement.”
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