Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014 … Hurting Yields To Helping

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 107

Devotional Song: Go to this link …  Please go to this video link to see/hear the group, Point of Grace, singing Heal the Wound, proclaiming the truth that our scars become evidence of God’s healing grace so that we can help others who are wounded in the same way.

Highlight Passage – NKJV: Genesis 41: 39 [NKJV] …  
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 
Highlight Passage [Context] – NKJV: Genesis 41: 14-41 [NKJV] … Go to this link

Reference Passages #1: 2nd Corinthians 1: 3-5 [NKJV] …  
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

My Journal for Today: Do you know the difference between “sympathy” and “empathy?” You probably do; but here is the comparison, taken from the Diffen website (Go to this link ) …

Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words have similar usage but differ in their emotional meaning.”

I might have sympathy for the pain that my wife endured during the birth of our first child, as kidney stone pain sent her into premature labor; but there is NO WAY I can EMPATHIZE with that kind of pain, never having experienced it. There are many times when we can have sympathy with what others are going through; but when we’ve “been there, done that, and have the t-shirt,” our empathy – and maybe even the scars from the wounds past – gives us a special feeling to be able to reach out and help the one where we know – from experience - their pain.

In today’s highlight passage, from Genesis, Chapter 41, Joseph was given a gift from God to be able to prophetically interpret dreams; and that special empathetic gift allowed him to help his king (i.e., Pharaoh), which ultimately led to his reconnection and ability to help his own family. And all the pain and agony which Joseph had been put through allowed him to empathize with his family and give them the compassion to help them, reaching out with healing and helping rather than revenge. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul (read 2nd Cor. 1: 3-5 above) writes of the suffering we endure giving us a special degree of empathy to be able to use those scars to reach out and to help others. And that is what the song, linked above and being performed by the group, Point of Grace, brings to us as we meditate on the truth from today’s Our Daily Bread devotional.

A number of years ago I was led by God out of the valley of the shadow of death into the arms of a loving Savior, Who then delivered me from a life of habitual and compulsive sexual sin. Subsequently, He has given me the healing grace to allow the scars from my past to heal and become empathetic evidence for others to see that we worship a God who can restore us and heal us. And so now with this empathy, I’m able to minister to the pain and agony of others who desire to experience the same healing grace I have encountered in my life.

I pray that we all allow others to see the scars which have been healed by God so that they can see that we can help them to have the same healing grace we have experienced from our past wounds.

My Prayer for Today … Lord use my scars to show others Your healing grace. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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