How To Be Comforted During Times of Hardships and Trials

How To Be Comforted During Times of Hardships and Trials

22.1 My Story

I thought I knew how to minister to hurting families and person’s facing death. My hubris said I was an expert. After all. I was a seminary trained minister and an ordained minister as well as an ordained deacon. I had made thousands of hospital visits, nursing home visits, and been with numerous persons and their families when death visited. I also had cared for my mother-in-law, and both my parents.

It wasn’t until I was holding my wife’s hand, praying as she took her last breath and hearing the hospice registered nurse pronounce “the time of death was 3:54 PM, April 12, 2018,” did I understand the sacrifice in time, emotion, and love that a family member makes in caring for someone they love more than they love themselves.

During the time of my wife’s cancer journey, I had with her permission started a Facebook secret group. The group’s description was, “A place for those that unconditionally love and care about Benita as she battles Neuroendocrine Carcinoma and Melanoma Cancer. A family of friends, coworkers, and prayer warriors.”

As I posted daily updates on her condition, shared how the group members could pray for her and wrote a short daily devotional thought to encourage both my wife and those praying for her something magical and mystical happened. My wife Benita and I began ministering to those who were praying and ministering to her.

I was surprised when I received the first request for permission to share my daily devotion. The reader asked if it would be okay to copy and send it to a friend that was battling cancer. I had several cousins fighting cancer. A couple of them told me how they looked forward to my posting of the devotion every day. One cousin committed that the short devotional post ministered to her because she knew we were living what she was experiencing. The devotion was a real, first-person experience and prayer instead of just words on a page.

It was with her words that I realized how God was using the bad in our life for good to others. My wife would write and send cards to others up until about ten days before she died. Miss Benita would share encouragement and how God was sustaining her during her cancer experience. She was able to comfort others in spite of her tribulation.

22.2 Developing Compassion for Others

Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness is developing compassion for others. Caring for a person with a long-lasting disease affects people in different ways. Depression may come to reside with some people. Other persons can become bitter. Withdrawal from friends and family can occur with some. You will find yourself tired, more tired than you thought you could ever become.

For the Believer in Jesus Christ, the chronic illness often mellows our heart to make us more compassionate. The persistent disease allows us empathy. It often becomes the point of rapport where we can care for and minister to not only our loved one but others now walking down the pathway we have recently or are currently helping our loved navigate.

22.3 Today’s Bible Verses

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

22.4 What the Verses Mean

The verses are a reminder of what a wonderful God we have. He is the one who comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.

Why does He do this? He does this where we can help others.

When family, friends, or coworkers are troubled, needing our support, sympathy, and encouragement, we can pass on to them the help and comfort God has given us.

22.5 Pray Using Scripture

  • Heavenly Father, I praise You for how wonderful you are.
  • I acknowledge You are the Father of the Lord Jesus.
  • I proclaim You as the one who wonderfully comforts and strengthens me in hardships and trials.
  • Thank you for teaching me how to soothe others by your example to me where I can give sympathy and encouragement.

22.6 Responding to God’s Hope

  1. Who do you know that could use a word of support today? 
  2. How can you prove that supportive word? A card, a phone call, an email or text? 
  3. Name two things you learned in your journey as a caregiver that help you comfort others. 

22.7 Takeaway

As a caregiver, we can pass on to others the help and comfort God has given us.

If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.

Photo Source: Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabayr 20, 2017.

This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

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5 thoughts on “How To Be Comforted During Times of Hardships and Trials

  1. This was a wonderful and instructive post.
    One of the attributes of God that I most appreciate is the way He uses the trials of one to minister to many others. You have demonstrated that well.
    As a caregiver, one of the things I learned is that in the grand scheme of things, the years I spent caring for my parents is only a blink in relation to eternity.

  2. Jimmie, the lessons you share that you learned during your very difficult journey always amaze, comfort, encourage, and teach me. Thank you for the reminder that we can use what we’re going through or have gone through to minister to others, which is exactly what God wants us to do.

  3. For me, it’s always been much easier to show/give compassion than it is to accept it from others. Not long ago, a dear friend and brother in Christ reminded me of that. While I did a favor or him, I wanted to bless him for help around my ranch while I’m recovering from surgery. He didn’t want to accept my gift, and I said to him “Please don’t take the blessing away from me brother.” He relented. Shortly afterward, the Holy Spirit reminded that my earlier refusal of a gift from someone at my local farmer’s cooperative was doing the same thing… robbing them of their blessing. Accepting help, gifts, etc. all requires a humbled heart my friend. Praying for wonderful impact for your book in the world sir.

  4. A beautiful reminder of how we all are given the opportunity to minister to those who are hurting. Although we always feel unworthy, you help us see that God provides both the opportunity and the ability to reach out to those in need.

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