The Stirring Faith Blog

The Source of All Comfort

source of all comfort

The Source of All Comfort

by Cheri Strange

Not long ago, I met some new friends because we were sharing the platform to tell our stories about how loneliness has impacted our lives. We were going to share the couch and testify to how God has liberated us from the bondage of it looking at it from our own perspectives and experiences. Their stories were moving. Even tragic at times. All cried when we heard them for the first time. We each had been living different lives, some single, others married, some without children, others with, well a lot, but it became clear there was a common theme: God is the source of all comfort when the days are dark.

Between our first meeting and actually sitting on that stage, one of our own in this ministry and a dear friend experienced her own calamity and will bury family members unexpectantly. Another dear friend said goodbye to her father on this planet the following day. And those are the things I know about in my circle.

These women are living out 2 Corinthian 2:3-4 from the marrow of their bones.

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.

We knew God as the source of all comfort

We knew it like our own pajamas. But none of us wanted to know it or to have the ability to comfort others based on our experiences. No one wants the testimony that requires us to need this kind of comfort. Not one of us wants the know-how to be able to give it to someone else in need.

Once in an interview, I heard Steven C. Chapman’s wife put words to this sentiment. The interview came after losing their five-year-old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. She said that people would say things like, “God has a plan,” “Just remember, ‘All things work together for good,’” and “Just think of all the people you will be able to help.” Her response was spot on. She said that she knows and that she gets all that. “I JUST WANT HER BACK.”

On the couch

On the couch beside me sat a powerhouse of a woman who lost her spouse in a calamity none of us would sign up for. She said something similar. In essence, she said, “I want my old life back. I don’t want to be on this couch.” She quoted these verses from 2 Corinthians and talked about how she didn’t want to be able to do this for people. But God absolutely showed up for her, as The source of all comfort when comfort seemed unreachable–just like He promised. In her worst unimaginable reality, God demonstrated Himself to be who He says He is: The God of All Comfort. The God who has been there at every turn.

I don’t know what you are facing or will face tomorrow. Regardless, we need to know Who He is. The God of the Bible is the God of all comfort, the God of all sympathy. He is THE SOURCE of every comfort we need. Unequivocably, He just is.

He is the Source of Every Comfort

God of all comfortWe may not want to need Him to be this for us, but aren’t we thankful He is this kind of God?

These verses come to us as a prayer. A prayer that looks squarely into the deep neediness of the human condition, aiming it to the only One who can meet such need. And that would be enough. The request, then, continues, as if to say, “Lord, don’t make all this awfulness of what we must endure be for nothing. Use it. Use it to serve another who is going through what we have gone through. Let the journey be a testimony to who You are, and what You can do in our worst situations.”

Because this is a prayer, I want to pray it over you—the one who needs to be reminded of The Only True Source of Comfort that exists. The one who can do more than we ask and meet our neediness.

A Prayer for the Source of All Comfort

she praysLord God, I come to You right now thanking you for being what no one else can be, and for doing what no one else can do. I pray for my friend reading that she might begin to understand and know you as the Father of sympathy. That you will be for her, the God Who is the Source of every comfort, every consolation, and every encouragement.

I ask that you will encourage her, comfort her, console her in every trouble or calamity or affliction she may be experiencing or will in the future. And that when you have done so, give her the strength and wisdom to take what she has received  and give it to those who  desperately need it. Heal us to see those around us who need Your comfort, Lord, and move us to act on your behalf.

In the Name of Jesus, and For Your Glory, Amen.

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

[optin-cat id=”4577″]

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

A Prayer for Strong Hands

strong hands

Prayer for Strong Hands

She Prays on Friday with Cheri Strange

Several of my daughters are “grown and flown,” off other places, doing what God has called them to do in this season of their lives. Within the last week, each of them has called to mention how tired they are. There is still much work to do, but little to no drive or energy to do it. Today I want to focus on a Scripture to pray that provides for this need of strong hands to finish what we have been called to do.

These interactions with my girls reminded me of the first time I ran a marathon. I’m not an athlete, but I can put one foot in front of the other for a long time. The training program required long runs each weekend leading up to the race, up to twenty miles. One race day, I put one foot in front of the other for my twenty miles, and realized, there were 6.2 more to go. For slowpokes like me, that left another hour of running, and I was out of steam. In those final miles, my energy was so depleted, I didn’t know if I needed to cry, use the restroom, or spit. My inner drive was gone, my body spent—just like you might feel today.

What can we do when we are exhausted or emotionally empty, and there is still more responsibility before us?

Scripture for Strong Hands

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? Hebrews 12:3-5

 Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:11-12

The writer of Hebrews is familiar with our pain.

He has spent the greater part of the letter lovingly warning his readers not to drift away from a fervent relationship with the Lord. The first verses speak of Jesus, “Consider him who…” This passage is coming on the heels of a series of testimonies about those who demonstrated tremendous faith. He knows we need their example to help us stay on course in our own spiritual races, enduring to the end. And it’s about mile 19.

Those entrusted to him are getting tired. He knows it. They are wanting to quit. So, he points them to Jesus to make sure they are clear on the standard, rather than some lesser measurement.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself

The writer makes a point. “I know you are tired. I know it’s been hard. You don’t think you can take much more, but don’t throw in the towel! Don’t go sit the bench! Do not quit! Don’t walk away thinking this is never going to work just because you haven’t seen it work yet!” Instead, look to someone who has made it across the finish line and now cheers you on to keep going.

Consider Jesus

Jesus did not quit. He did not sit out on the hard plays. Jesus didn’t fake an injury or tell anyone where they could shove their nails. He put one foot in front of the other (so to speak) until He crossed the finish line.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

strong handsA couple of years ago, (before the world shut down), my daughter, Sophia, and I met up with a group in Kenya to go on safari. But it was quite a drive from Nairobi out to the reserve. We were closed inside a  vehicle driving down the center of what looked like solid pavement when suddenly and often, the driver veered off the path to the right or the left to what was NOT a road. Constantly we would bounce around that dirt path until the driver crossed OVER the nice paved road onto the opposite side to do the same thing. We did this back and forth up and down weaving in and around on dirt, through mud and rocks for five or six hours.

There was a straight path available, we just didn’t take it.

Sometimes life can feel like my trek into the savannah. We need this Word to be living in us. Today, let us begin asking for it.

she praysA Prayer for Strong Hands

Lord, I come before you today on behalf of my friend who is reading. I ask that You remind her of the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, and what He endured for her. The jeering, the torture, the scorn, the brutality, the reprehensible treatment He willingly received without so much as a jerk. Give her a picture of what He has done for her so that she will gain strength from His perfect love and obedience. Do not let her quit because she’s tired and spent.

Lord, invigorate her with Your strength. Enable her to lift her hands once again, and bring power to her knees. She cannot do it on her own. She needs You. And even though she might see the straight path and cross over it a few times, make her feet to stay on it, so that the rocky places that have hurt her and caused her pain in the past will be healed.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen

For His Glory,

You can download these four prints today to accompany The Journey for Waiting Well, gain access to all of Cheri’s free resources, AND begin receiving regular encouragement in your inbox.

[optin-cat id=”4577″]

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

Hear My Prayer, Lord

hear my prayer, Lord

Hear My Prayer, Lord

She Prays on Fridays with Cheri Strange, PhD.

This is the She Prays on Friday edition of the blog, which hopes to be some of the most encouraging five minutes of your Friday. Each week on the She Prays on Friday edition we examine a portion of Scripture for the sole purpose of praying it over you. My desire is that each aspect provides for you an additional tool for you to use in your own prayer life. Our plea today is simply, “Hear my prayer, Lord.”

I cannot really explain the burden God is placing on me to pray over you. To me, it’s as important as asking God to move in revival across the land. This is how God works. Just as He did in the awakening that took place in America in the 1800s, an unprecedented movement began and spread with prayer. One person. One nobody praying and asking God to move. One person yearning, desiring to see more of God in their everyday life, and the lives of those in their midst.

Suppose you and I commit to doing the same?

Today, I bring to you two different Psalms that carry a similar theme. In fact, they almost read the same, but I want to present the words to you in both places so you can feel the authenticity request.

Scripture to pray.

Hear my prayer, O LORD;
let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call! Psalm 102:1-2

O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! Psalm 141:1-2

Why should I pray these verses?

Both of these cries by the Psalmist carry an urgent plea for God to listen to the petitioner. They want to be heard. We don’t know the exact circumstances or problems, but if we read on in Psalm 102, they are enormous. The writer forgets to eat. He groans. Apparently, there are many foes against him. This person needs help. And he needs it now.

The second example doesn’t feel as dire from the tone, but the request casts a similar feel of gravity when he writes, “Hasten to me!” In other words, “Please, Lord, can you shake a leg, will ya? Hurry up. I need you to hear my prayer!

Not only does the person want God to hear him licked-spit, he wants the Lord to answer quickly! On the double! This Scripture illuminates when it is good and right to ask for your God to listen to you, AND to ask for Him to move quickly on your behalf. Depending on His ability to come through for you. Expecting a response.

You and I need to know that this Scripture is here. The reality remains, we are free use it ourselves in our own situations. With this in mind, allow me to pray this need of God’s ear and his attentiveness to your life, over you today.

Hear my prayerA Prayer for you

Lord,

I ask you to hear my friend’s prayer. Let her cry come before you. Don’t hide your face from her in her day of trouble or difficulty or delay. If it were possible, move in closer to her. If you could, put your ear all the way down by her head. Help her to know you are listening. And allow me to boldly ask on her behalf that You do not delay in responding. Answer her quickly whatever that looks like! There is urgency here in the need, so I ask You–the only One who can meet it to be her Sufficiency; and that she will recognize Your hand as You give it.

Thank you in advance for what You are about to do.

In the Name of Jesus, and For Your Glory, Amen.

Be sure to stop by FB or Instagram and say hello!

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

   

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

 

Teach Me, Lord

teach me, lord

Teach Me, Lord

She Prays Friday

Welcome to the She Prays Friday edition of the blog, which seeks to be some of the most encouraging FIVE minutes of your Fridays, straight from the Word of God. I’m so glad you are here, and extremely hope-filled that these moments will serve to be a blessing in your life; and that they will encourage you to look toward using the Word of God as a tool in your own devotional life as you pray.

Psalm 86:11-13

Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.


I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

I really want to focus on verse 11.

Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;

There is much for us in the first two lines. It brings to light, at least three contemporary issues.

Issue #1

Sure. You and I can read the Bible, attend Bible study, participate in some spiritual group online, go to church, or even attend Sunday School. We can do all these things and learn more about God—yet never take on His ways or actually walk in His truth. In order to walk these out, day by day, He must illuminate His ways and His truth to us. Otherwise, it’s just ordinary knowledge.

Issue #2

Maybe you’ve got questions–things in your life, like me, that are hanging “out there” that the world is shoving in our faces, and we need to know what the Bible teaches. What should a follower of Jesus believe? How are you and I supposed to discern the matter?

Relying on the Internet is out. Even though my pastor is on target with Scripture, our spiritual leaders do not dictate truth. The Psalmist makes no bones about it. The Lord is to be our teacher.

This is our daily dilemma because whatever is making its way into the headlines, or dominating social media outlets, finding a place in the news and printed articles, is likely not lining up with Scripture. Most of the time, popular opinion runs contrary to the very fabric of Christianity. Holding the questions out and asking them is not the problem, but allowing other sources to influence what you and I in turn, believe–that’s where the rub occurs.

I get it. The temptation is real. I like the societal solutions often better than the Word of God. I find myself in less controversy socially. Frankly, their answers are more palatable than the Bible. What we learn here — is that MY truth will not due. YOUR truth should be rejected. This is what the Psalmist is conveying. In the culture in which we live, you and I desperately need God to teach us.

Issue #3

Too often, I am at a loss for knowing what to do. There are big situations brewing in my life, as they are likely brewing in yours. I haven’t the foggiest how to proceed. I’m in a holding pattern, with nothing to do but wait and trust that these words will be true for me in what is coming for the future. Because I simply don’t know what to do —  I need God to teach me His ways and His truth.

unite my heart to fear your name.

I must say, the Psalmist nails this one. This is a prayer AGAINST his distracted self. He’s all Helter-Skelter in his heart and mind–just like me, and just like you. This line resonates. How I need to bring my thoughts and all that I seek under one focus. To remind me of what is most important — with all my faculties falling under this one banner. Do I need help with this? You bet!

Maybe you do, too.

teach me, Lord pin

The following verses are a response to the Psalmist’s request, thanking God with an acknowledgment of Who He is and what He has done in their life. What an instrumental and timely model for us.

Today, I pray for the one who is like me. The one who recognizes her need for bigger answers than she holds — and who wants fervently to stay on the path of biblical truth.

 

 

 

A “Teach Me, Lord” Prayer

Lord,

I come before You, asking for help. There is so much we do not know how to face or which direction to go. And we need You to teach us. Would You use whatever means necessary to teach my friend what to do in the situations she is facing? Whatever that looks like for her, I ask You to make the way known? Make it plain so that she can see it and tell the difference between what You want and everything else. And when ideas or campaigns or promotions come across the landscape of her life, would you give her discernment, leading her to exactly what You say about the issues? Give her courage to stand against her own understanding and that of the majority to follow You, walking in your truth.

In the glorious and powerfully able Name of Jesus,

Amen.

Be sure to stop by FB or Instagram and say hello!

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

   

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit

Releasing Today Conquering Your Chaos

conquering your chaos

New on YouVersion, Conquering Your Chaos

Today is the day. The newest reading plan went live this morning and I could not be more excited, because Conquering Your Chaos is for you and me. Ever feel like you can’t get it together? Does your To-Do list out-distance your day? Do you wonder how to know what to do and what to leave undone? What if it were possible to sort out all the confusion so that you complete the right things? In this five-day plan, you will encounter Scripture and practical strategies to help you conquer your chaos when there’s no time to waste.

This is where we are headed for the next five days.

And there is more.

Included in the plan are three bonus videos with additional teaching. To give you a taste, I am including the first one below.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YGsgxJ3LS1s” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

conquering your chaos pinNext week, on March 1, we are hosting Plans with Friends on YouVersion so that we can work through the plan as a group. If you have not participated in the past, all you need to do is 1) download the free YouVersion app, 2) follow this link and sign up, and 3) show up in your app on the start day. That’s it. I hope to meet you there. But hurry. The spots will fill up.

Thanks for stopping by. I pray we meet again soon.

For His Glory,

 

 

Discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

If you like the Journey you will like Finding Light

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

If you like Truths Jesus Taught you will like finding light

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You when to quit