‘He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others when they are troubled.’ 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT
One way to help a friend in crisis is to help them identify important resources—spiritual, personal, and interpersonal.
(1) Spiritual resources. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Psalm 46:1 RSV) God’s Word illuminates the darkness and confusion. His Spirit is the source of all comfort—He gives ‘the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.’ (Philippians 4:7 RSV) His presence addresses the loneliness, and His power enables the hurting heart to overcome feelings of helplessness. People in crisis are often disoriented, which causes them to forget what God has already given them.
(2) Personal resources. Remind them of their unique strengths and skills. Help them recall past triumphs when they successfully navigated through tough times. Encourage a positive attitude that looks to the future rather than being paralysed by present pain. Most importantly, strengthen their faith with prayer and truths from God’s Word. And last but not least, remind them of your support.
(3) Interpersonal resources. Family members, friends, business associates and neighbours are likely to be supportive, and community resources are also available for medical, financial and material assistance. The local church is another network source. People in crisis are often too embarrassed to ask for help; they feel like they should be able to handle their own problems. Help them understand that you are blessed by giving, and that one day they too will have an opportunity to help ‘someone else who is going through hard times’.
SoulFood: Gal 5:23, Is 40:9–11, Is 42:1–4, Ps 18:31–35
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019
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