by John Barnett

Comforting One Another
John Barnett
I Thessalonians 4:18

Today you and I each spoke an enormous number of words. Talking at normal speeds through a normal day our words would fill a 150 Page Book. In just one years talk we have produced 132 X 400 Page Books!

Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." NKJV. What kind of book are you writing each day for God ? Every day we have a choice. We can be a blessing and strengthen the lives of all those God has placed around us. That is the way of comforting one another.

Look for a moment if you would please to our portion of study tonight: First Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. NKJV. Now look at #556

Martin Rinkart was a pastor at Eilenberg, Saxony during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Because Eilenberg was a walled city, it became a severely overcrowded refuge for political and military fugitives from far and near. As a result, the entire city suffered from famine and disease. In 1637 a great pestilence swept through the area, resulting in the death of some eight thousand persons, including Rinkart's wife. At that time he was 41, widowed and the only minister in Eilenberg because the others had either died or fled. Rinkart alone conducted the burial services for 4480 people, sometimes as many as 40 or 50 a day!

We may well ask why all this dramatic experience and difficulty is not reflected in Rinkart's hymn. Had the good pastor seen so much stark tragedy that he had become insensitive to human needs and problems? Of course not. He simply had come to believe that Gods providence is always good, no matter how much we are tempted to doubt it.

One of the Christian's favorite, often-quoted Bible verses is Romans 8.28 (Living Letters): "And we know that all that happens to us ...

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