Only God’s spirit can truly mend a broken heart

Published 9:00 am Monday, December 12, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I struggle to comfort others in need. I’m not a big talker and seldom know what to say to people at funerals or to those who have been through a tragedy. Does this make me an ineffective Christian? — S.T.

Dear S.T.: Only God’s spirit can truly mend a broken heart, but we can be a part of the healing process. We don’t have to be a counselor, preacher, or good talker. We just need to be available, as Christ is available to us. When He was comforting His disciples before He left them, they were confused and frightened. He said, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22, NIV).
Our attitude toward suffering should not be, “Grit your teeth and bear it,” hoping it will pass as quickly as possible. Our goal should be to learn all we can from our personal problems, so that we can fulfill a ministry of comfort to others, just as Jesus did. We are surrounded by hurting people. Many simply need a listening ear. “As one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified” (1 Peter 4:11, ESV).
We need to build trust through listening, through caring in a tangible way, and doing what God leads us to do. Jesus experienced people who betrayed Him; He understands suffering. The most important thing we can do is lead others to the truth that Jesus gives. It doesn’t mean to preach a sermon but rather pray that God will help us comfort others in a way that brings glory and honor to Him. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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