Ministers of Comfort

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org

Saturday, September 10, 2011 and Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ministers of Comfort

Read | Psalm 72:12-14

“For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
He will rescue their life from oppression and violence,
And their blood will be precious in his sight.”

What lessons can we learn by reflecting on the September 11th attacks of 2001? In thinking about how Americans responded, I’m reminded of the extraordinary selflessness and compassion that they modeled. Many New York firemen and policeman risked—and sacrificed—their own lives in the rescue efforts. Across the country, people tried to help victims and their family members in any way possible. Some donated blood while others donated money.

Remembering these altruistic acts, we should be inspired to show kindness during times of disaster, whether natural or man-made, national or local. As we saw a decade ago, true compassion not only tries to understand the pain of others, but also provides practical help. In light of recent calamities that have occurred worldwide, let’s consider how we can express care and concern for those affected.

First of all, remember that you and I have a wonderful privilege: the ability to touch anybody anywhere in the world through prayer. No matter how far away the victims are, they can be comforted by God as He responds to your heartfelt cries. So as soon as word of a tragedy reaches you, start praying for the victims, rescue workers, and officials managing the crisis. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in petitioning God for protection, provision, comfort, awareness of His presence, and whatever else He deems fitting (Rom. 8:26).

Second, donations (money, food, clothing, household goods) and assistance of many kinds are usually high priority. It is wise to team up with dependable relief organizations and to consult trusted sources about what’s needed. Travel limitations may narrow your options, but in local situations, you can express compassion with words of comfort, a warm embrace, or simply a listening ear. Through this kind of love, the world will recognize its true Light—Jesus Christ, who was anointed to bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and comfort all who mourn (Isa. 61:1-2).

On this somber anniversary, recall some of the kind acts that were prevalent in the aftermath of our national tragedy. Let those memories motivate you to notice needs around you and to reach out with Christ’s love. In addition, think about a disaster in the news this year, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal ways to pray for families that are still suffering. Your concern can have a profound impact.

Psalm 72 (NASB)

The Reign of the Righteous King.

A Psalm of Solomon.

1 Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s son.
2 May he judge Your people with righteousness
And Your afflicted with justice.
3 Let the mountains bring peace to the people,
And the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people,
Save the children of the needy
And crush the oppressor.

5 Let them fear You while the sun endures,
And as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
Like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may the righteous flourish,
Andabundance of peace till the moon is no more.

8 May he also rule from sea to sea
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him,
And his enemies lick the dust.
10 Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.
11 And let all kings bow down before him,
Allnations serve him.

12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence,
And their blood will be precious in his sight;
15 So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him;
And let them pray for him continually;
Letthem bless him all day long.

16 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains;
Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon;
And may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth.
17 May his name endure forever;
May his name increase as long as the sun shines;
And let men bless themselves by him;
Let all nations call him blessed.

18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen.

20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

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