SGBC Modesto


February 26, 2024 by

William Heinrich

Recently our compassion at SGBC has been tested. How have we done or are doing? Job’s friends willingly sat for seven days without speaking a word. If they would have left it at that, Job would have received the comfort that they cared enough to come. It was when they opened their mouths that they became miserable comforters.

This stands as a stern warning for the comforter. Be very careful what you say but show the afflicted you truly care (7 days). When Job’s comforters opened their mouth they spoke with the wisdom of ages, but lacked the full wisdom of God. We comforters must learn we truly may possess wisdom but we don’t possess all wisdom. Therefore, it is often best to comfort without correction.  It’s true we are told to speak the truth in love and iron sharpens iron, but sometimes what we believe is the truth is not truth. In this case we are guilty of judging by appearance without all the facts. Other times, truth is told best at the best time, not any time. Usually the calamity of the person given for you to comfort is more an emotional problem than an intellectual one.

A common statement by the comforter is “Can I do something?”  This reveals you care and are willing to help lighten their load. However, it also may reveal you don’t care enough to think of something to lighten their load. To go deeper and farther to comfort, you could mow their lawn, supply food, do their wash, clean their house, etc. All would be proof behind your desire to do something and be an even better comfort than sitting there seven days and doing nothing.

Cries of “It isn’t fair” issue from our sense of justice. It’s always best to determine what we mean by the cry “It isn’t fair.” Do we mean we want justice that gives us what we deserve or justice that all are treated the same? Usually we want the same delivering grace God has given to others that we know. But that would make grace common and not grace at all. Scripture is emphatic that grace is sovereignly granted and always unmerited and never common.

All of us desire to be used by God. Comfort is a place for all ages to serve the Lord. Comfort is best given by those who themselves have been comforted.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, He comforting us in all our trouble, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in every trouble, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. And if we are troubled, it is for your consolation and salvation, being worked out in the endurance of the same sufferings which we also suffer; if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is certain, knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also of the consolation.  2 Corinthians 1:3-7

They remember how important it was to them and what was done or said that truly helped them heal. I remember a ministry my family had at the rest home. The people did not look forward to my preaching, but to see my children.

How are we doing in the area of compassion? Surly we can do better. Pray with me that we learn how to truly be compassionate and step forward in this ministry.