Be There

Most of us have that one friend, who no matter what is going on in their life, they are there for us. They encourage us when we are down. They calm us down when we are on the edge. The give us a kick in the pants when we mope. That friend is truly valuable. While we all want and need that friend, let me ask this question, are you that friend to someone? The apostle Paul knew what it was like to suffer. Ever since he gave his life to Christ, suffering was a part of his life. Yet, we read over and over how he had joy despite his circumstances. Maybe you are wondering, how that is possible, especially given what is going on in your life? Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:5-6, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”

I love Paul’s openness and the raw emotion he is conveying here. Let’s be honest, life is hard. Not to play the victim, but if you are a child of God and living like it, life in this fallen world is even more difficult. Somedays it is easier to want to throw your hands up. You feel beat down, discouraged, and doubt whether or not you can take another step. But then your Titus comes along. They sit down with you, they listen to you, if need be they cry with you, or whatever else is necessary. But the point it, they are there. Paul was facing persecution and trials left and right. They were leading to fears and an internal struggle. Let me just pause here for a moment and say this, we are almost always our own worst enemy! Don’t miss what Paul is saying. He is saying that physically, mentally, and emotionally he was exhausted. Can you or have you ever been able to identify with this? I know I can. When that happens, what is our first instinct? Our first instinct is to pull away, to protect ourselves. After all, it feels like it is us versus the world. This is exactly the lie that Satan wants us to believe. Satan wants to isolate us, intimidate us, and separate us from biblical community. We play right into it, because our first instinct is to protect ourselves. But don’t miss this, when we pull away, we don’t allow God to send our Titus. When we resist our Titus, we are resisting God. God is showing us grace when he sends someone to be there with us and for us. When we pull away and isolate ourselves, we are actually running away from what God is giving us as a means to remind us of His love for us and His presence with us. Paul says it is God who comforts the downcast. How does God do it? Paul said that God did it by sending Titus to Paul.

Life is hard! Life can feel lonely at times. When we feel like Paul is feeling in the text, we need a Titus. Titus is proof of God’s love, presence, and His grace towards His children. But please don’t miss this part, we need to remember that sometimes other people are feeling like Paul is feeling here, and God wants to use us as a Titus for them. It doesn’t mean that you have all the answers. It doesn’t mean you have to fix everything. In fact, we need to admit that we ourselves are weak, and unable to fix things for others. By admitting this, it allows us to point people to the One who can truly help them, Jesus. The goal of being a Titus for someone is just being there. Allowing God to work through you, by simply being present with them. So, be humble enough to admit when you feeling like Paul is feeling in the text. Don’t act like you have it all together. But also, ask the Lord how you can be a Titus for someone or some people around you.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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