The Joy Bringer

Cheri Strange

the Joy Bringer

Day 10: The Joy Bringer

Scripture

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. 6But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. 2 Corinthians 7:5-7

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 2 Corinthians 7:13

Devotional Material: The Joy Bringer

It is a joy to invite others to come alongside us to participate in what we are passionate about. Sometimes they are invited to pray like you and I are doing. Other times we have posted to social media, sold t-shirts, and things of that nature. Currently, I have a very committed friend in terms of support. She is part of our community. So, it is with deep sorrow that I tell you about the accident she was in this morning. My friend survived, but one of the casualties was her spouse. To make matters worse, the incident occurred far from home. As soon as word got out, two sets of their friends from the church immediately began to close the distance to get to her. I can only imagine the comfort they brought after enduring such an agonizing situation.

I’ve struggled to focus throughout the day, unable to write this section due to the tragedy. Two things are brought to mind as I try to put my thoughts together. The first follows Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians (which were already selected for today’s reading). He was a real person with genuine hurts, real fears, and untold sufferings. When his friend, Titus, showed up, that entrance brought light to an otherwise dim situation. He became a joy bringer.

Secondly, we cannot forget how necessary we are to one another. This is especially recognizable in areas when there are problems galore and fears that can run amuck inside our heads. Just your presence can make a difference. You can be a joy bringer, too. Bringing encouragement to another person in their struggle will help them better hold tightly to their hope.

What we usually do

So often our tendency is to pull back and turn inward. We shouldn’t do it! If the Apostle Paul could admit they were afraid and oppressed, so much so they could not get any rest—you and I can go ahead and meet for that lunch.  We can go to the gathering we have been trying to get out of attending, or we could inconvenience ourselves and travel great distances because someone within your sphere of influence is overwhelmed or hurting–all to usher in the hope that they need.

Dwindling hope is at stake. Thankfully, Titus yielded to the Holy Spirit, so that Paul could give us one of the greatest phrases in the New Testament: “But God.”

What we could do

Would you ask God for the boldness to make you a joy bringer like Titus, that your very presence would serve to be an encouragement, a comfort, or a source of refreshment to whoever God sends you?

Maybe you need this kind of person to show up where you live. Ask God to give you the encouragement and refreshment that you need. Maybe he will use a joy bringer in your life. Maybe He will use another means. This we know: God is faithful to do it.

Please pray especially for our fellow supporter today, that my sweet friend would be comforted and encouraged all the more as each new day passes.

 

 

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cheri strange speaker author she yearns

 

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