DAY 20 Winning Edge Devotions
2 CORIN. 1: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
I think the greatest team builder in the world is suffering. My closest football teams have been teams that experienced some type of shared pain. None of us want it that way and we want to avoid it as much as possible. But at the end of the year, we got closer when we laughed, but we grew together when we cried or hurt.
I’m not exactly why this is true. It may be the first time we see one another without masks or we see how much individuals care- but pain is a useful tool in forging a team of one heroic purpose. That is one reason why I push them so hard in summer camp- they have to experience hardship to break down all the barriers to brotherhood.
The above passage contains that same sentiment. When pain comes, we should be urgent and diligent to support each other and comfort one another. The best comfort is time and understanding. It is not a three point sermon. I never really ever want to preach to my team following a loss- it is usually a one on one evaluation of who needs support the most. It is a time to seek out the injured and quietly stand with those that are taking it the hardest.
When we receive God’s comfort, it helps us to be sensitive to others in similar pain. I remember what it was like to have a football injury and I look to make sure that guy feels a part of the team. I remember the hurt of losing my senior year in the playoffs and I usually pour all my empathy to them.
In our football creed we have a line that says: “We suffer together so that we WILL persevere together”- which is related to Romans 5:3,4 which says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
When we suffer and comfort, we eventually heal. That healing produces unity and strength. If you ever have to compete against a team with this type of unity- look out- it may be a tough night!
If you are hurting, go comfort others. If you see someone hurting, comfort them. You will reap a great harvest of hope!
Father, please send ministers to me in my hurt and, as I heal, help me to comfort others. I have tasted of Your goodness, allow me to share it with others! AMEN