The Joy of Love in Hurting Times

 “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Gal 6:8,9

       It may seem very odd that joy can come out of a hurting moment like the death of a dear, beloved wife, mother or sister in Christ.  However, there are times that a deep, meaningful sense of joy can arise from ministry to those who are hurting from the loss of a loved one.  Paul told Titus that when Christians “careful to devote themselves to doing what is good” it is both “excellent and profitable for everyone” (Tit 3:8).  At times it may take a sacrifice of our time or finances in order to do ministry and provide needed love.  The Bible says that we “with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  When we reach out to those hurting we directly receive the desired pleasure of God.
Also notice, a verse we do not often reference, Paul states that when we imitate what is good, we are walking as Jesus walked (3 John 11).  So when we provide a smile and a hug, a positive handshake, provide a meal or an affirming scripture of hope then we are walking in the lifestyle of Jesus.  We may walk away saying, “That was not much.  It was nothing.      Someone else could have done more.”  But we would be greatly mistaken with this assessment.  We may also say, “I wish I had the right words… the right phrase. I wish I could do more.”  We often allow Satan into the discussion to influence us to think that our service is not enough, or that we are not good enough.   May we say as Jesus did, “Get behind me Satan!” with conviction and faith.  When we provide the joy of love to the hurting, we are walking in the lifestyle of Jesus (3 John 11).
The Bible also teaches that when we imitate God (Matt. 5:48; 1 Cor. 11:1) that we are called brothers and sisters of Jesus (Matt. 12:50).  The point is that we cannot compare our expression of joy to one that is hurting to what another person does.  The man is puts up sheet rock in a house cannot compare himself to the man who installs the electric work.  Each man and his work are valuable, needed and its own skill-set entirely. And the Bible states that the work you do, however humanly seen as important or not, God notices and remembers your expression of love (Heb. 6:10).
As people hurt, may we reach out to serve them as God has gifted us to do.  May we reach out to all men as they hurt, but especially God’s people.  May we sow that good seed of love and healing in people’s lives as God’s servants.

“A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please the Spirit,
from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Gal. 6:7,8

      What will you do today for someone, Christian or not, that will sow joy and peace in their life and enable you to walk in the lifestyle of Jesus?

~~ Andy Burns


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