The authors of 31 Ways to be A “One-Another” Christian have a simple yet life-changing message for you this Christmas: Comfort one another!
Instead of frustration or irritation with people think of how you can bring comfort to them. That is radical! This excerpt from the book is truly a special gift for you and those whom you love:
True comfort comes not from limited human wisdom or a quickly dispensed phrase but rather from the ministry of the very words of God—that is, the Word carefully and compassionately unfolded within a sufferer’s difficult, fearful, or sorrowful context. Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” There is comfort for those who mourn over their spiritual depravity and sins (Matthew 5:4). There is comfort in the promise of forgiveness (1 John 1:9). There is also comfort in the character and promises of God as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:13. In that passage, the very character of God—namely his faithfulness—gives comfort and hope.
So, believers need to use God’s Word to bring comfort to one another, just as Paul did with the Thessalonian church in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17…Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (v. 18). Believers can lose focus and be in despair when they focus too much on the things of this world. There is always a need for an eternal perspective on life and not being so nearsighted as to forget God and the great promises he has made in his Word. We can bring real comfort and hope by encouraging one another with his words (Psalm 119:49,50; Psalm 19:7,8),73
Merely talking to a friend about one’s difficulties or afflictions brings nothing more than a temporary sense of relief—if even that. It is better to encourage people in your conversation, reminding them that the Lord is returning and today is one day closer to that reality.
Think of someone who you can comfort with these words about the second coming of Christ. Let them know that heaven awaits. This life is not heaven; heaven is something we look forward to.
How can you encourage such people that they will not suffer in eternity with whatever they are currently suffering? You do not have to get into debates about eschatology. Christ is coming back, and it could be today.