Luke 23:39-43 (NIV)
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
While JESUS was in tremendous pain and yet dying on the cross, HE took a moment to be concerned about another man's soul. Sometimes the hardest thing to do when we are hurting is to reach out and help someone else. When we are hurting, the most natural feeling is to look for someone to extend a helping hand to us. There is nothing wrong with wanting others to be concerned about our issues or seeking help for ourselves. However, when we can step outside of our own difficulties and reach out to others we will be surprised of the positive outcome.
I remember a time many years ago when I was very sad about a situation. I was praying to GOD about my problem when suddenly the phone rang. It was my niece and she said she really needed to talk to me. Before moving forward in the conversation I remember thinking, "JESUS how can I possibly be any help to her right now?" But I told her I would listen and she began talking. I didn't say much in our conversation. I listened as she told me about her problem and offered some advice when she was finished. At the end of the conversation she said, "Thank you Uncle Terrence. You really helped me a lot." After our conversation ended I realized I wasn't sad anymore. I felt much better too!
Sometimes our deliverance comes when we get beyond our own pain to lift someone else up. GOD loves us and is concerned about our problems. GOD often uses people to manifest HIS will here on Earth. Therefore GOD wants us to be concerned about others enough to reach out to help them. We don't have to be in the best condition for GOD to use us to bring good to another person. We do not have to be a perfect vessel. We only have to be a willing vessel to be used by GOD.
The Apostle Paul wanted to be in the best possible condition to be used by GOD. Paul asked JESUS 3 times to remove a thorn from his side. The "thorn" represents the thing, issue, or circumstance which came to make Paul feel less than perfect for the task. JESUS did not grant Paul's request. Instead JESUS replied by saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness." Let's look at the scripture . . .
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Therefore we should not try to present ourselves as "all knowing" or "flawless" to anyone who comes to us seeking help. In fact we should do the opposite and be transparent about our humanity. It means so much to the person who is hurting to know that you are not perfect, but human just like them. So when you offer advice or step in to help in a situation which ends with a positive result, the credit must go to GOD.
So when I go back to the story about the phone conversation with my niece I realized that it was JESUS who was helping my niece (not me). Yes I felt good after that phone call knowing my niece was feeling better, but I was also at peace about my own situation. That peace came from JESUS as HE helped me during that same phone call. If we only step out to help others when things are good for us then we lose sight of GOD working in the situation. But if we rise above our own problems to assist someone else then GOD's light shines brightly. GOD blesses the person who is being helped and the person who reached out to help. It is amazing how GOD works! GOD is truly awesome!
I know it can be very hard to get beyond our own problems enough to think clearly about assisting someone else. However if we have the desire in our hearts to help others and make the effort to do so even while we are hurting, then GOD will do the rest. Helping each other is GOD's will for us. The beauty of GOD's plan is that we get blessed in the process. The next time you feel down, make an effort to help someone else and watch GOD work for them and for you! As we reach out to help others, GOD will reach out to help us!
James 5:16 (NIV)
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at email@example.com.
If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."
If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in the name of JESUS, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.
If you have any questions please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOD bless you!