Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves for help.
A deeply depressed man sought the help of a psychiatrist. He explained the traumas of his youth and failures of adulthood, which continued to cause him much anguish and sorrow.
One of the ways the doctor counseled the man to handle the sadness in his life was to help him see things from a different perspective -- to laugh and enjoy the positive things around him. By way of suggestion, the doctor mentioned a comedian at a local theater he had heard about. People who had seen him perform came away happy and light-hearted.
"Maybe an evening out at the theater would refresh your outlook," the doctor offered.
To this the man sighed deeply and said, "If seeing this comedian is going to bring me happiness then I really am in sad shape ... because that man is me."
Like this comedian, people often live their lives pretending to be happy. They've learned to do this well since society isn't interested in their complaints. And sometimes we don't want to hear about other peoples' suffering because we can't handle the sadness in our own lives.
There is One, however, who knows us so well, and loves us so deeply, that we do not need to hide our problems and sadness from Him. God's love provides us with the necessary strength to recover from any crisis and helps us move on with a renewed purpose in our lives.
In Jesus Christ, God showed Himself to be more than merely concerned with our situation; He identified with it. Through Jesus' sacrifice and atonement for our sins, we can know God's perfect compassion and His eternal comfort.
In times of difficulty and sorrow, remember that with the help of Jesus Christ, we can unload our burdens, dwell in His consolation, and be filled with the necessary strength to overcome our personal crises and sorrow.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us turn to You for all our needs and return with thanksgiving for all You give us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's devotion was based on a text submitted from Alexander Jesus Perez Leon, the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries' Venezuelan office. Established in 1953 in Caracas, LHM-Venezuela or Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN) meaning "Christ for All Nations," operates a radio and print ministry and utilizes the Internet to connect with others. Additionally, programs like Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping the Saints (ETS), and Project JOEL connect people with the Gospel in this South American country of 27 million people.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.