STRENGTHEN YOUR BRETHREN
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” -Luke 22:31-32
I want to thank the mom with the wayward child who comforted me when my child went astray. I want to thank the blind man who inspired me when I realized I may go totally blind. I wish these people could have been spared their trials, but they were able to help me because they had gone through the same thing.
When Jesus told Peter to strengthen the brethren, He knew that Peter would deny Him. He also knew that Peter would become a strong preacher, and that he would help restore John Mark (Acts 15:36-40; 1 Pet. 5:13). He knew that Peter would write epistles to suffering Christians and that he could teach them and help them because of what he had been through.
God has many purposes for our suffering. One of His purposes is that we may give comfort and strength to our Christian brothers and sisters. Possibly you are going through something right now. It could be an illness, a financial hardship, a wayward child or a lost loved one. There may come a time when you are able to help someone who is going through the same thing. You don’t have to give them any answers, but you can tell them about God’s grace. Remind them that God will never leave them and that He gives peace that is beyond our understanding.
It may not mean much to you right now to know that later on you may comfort someone else, but when you reach that point, you will thank God for the ability to help them. They will be thankful for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God enables His children to bear one another’s burdens.
Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale New