The Rushmore Report – Ten Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas

The number one way to keep Jesus Christ in your Christmas celebrations is to have him present in your daily life. If you’re not sure what it means to become a believer in Christ, check out this article on “How to Become a Christian.”

If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior and made him the center of your life, keeping Christ in Christmas is more about the way you live your life than the things you say—such as “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays.”

Keeping Christ in Christmas means daily revealing the character, love and spirit of Christ that dwells in you, by allowing these traits to shine through your actions. Here are simple ways to keep Christ the central focus of your life this Christmas season.

1) Give God one very special gift just from you to him.

2) Set aside a special time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20.

3) Set up a Nativity scene in your home.

4) Plan a project of good will this Christmas.

5) Take a group Christmas caroling in a nursing home or a children’s hospital.

6) Give a surprise gift of service to each member of your family.

7) Set aside a time of family devotions on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.

8) Attend a Christmas church service together with your family.
If you are alone this Christmas or don’t have family living near you, invite a friend or a neighbor to join you.

9) Send Christmas cards that convey a spiritual message.

10) Write a Christmas letter to a missionary.

About the Author

Mary Fairchild is a Christian writer, editor, and full-time minister. She writes on Christian issues for an organization called ThoughtCo.

The Rushmore Report – Nicole Kidman Talks About Her Faith

In promoting her upcoming film Hollywood icon Nicole Kidman has opened up about her faith and personal belief in God.  For the December/January issue of Allure magazine, Kidman, who was raised in an Irish Catholic family, sported a diamond-studded crucifix, which she said was a gift from her grandmother. She wears it all the time. “I’m spiritual in the sense that I absolutely believe in God,” she said.

Kidman went on to reveal that she once thought of becoming a nun. “I loved the idea of being a nun,” she said. “I did not choose that path, but I was very drawn to it.”

The 51-year-old is the star of the new film, “Boy Erased,” in which she plays a pastor’s wife. Her role as Nancy Eamons is the wife of a small-town Baptist pastor who put their son in a “gay conversion” program after discovering that he was gay.

Once linked to Scientology, Kidman shared that she had become estranged from her two oldest children. Her kids left her for a life with their adoptive father Tom Cruise following their divorce.

“They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions. But my job is to love them,” Kidman said.

Now married to country music star Keith Urban, the two recently visited a children’s hospital in Australia together. There, they sang “Amazing Grace.”

Urban and Kidman toured the Monash Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, visiting kids with cancer. Others in the hospital halls joined them in singing the famous hymn.

Such outings and quiet ministry have become commonplace for both Kidman and Urban. Nicole Kidman has returned to the faith of her childhood. Her Christian faith is growing and increasingly becoming a part of her daily lifestyle.

The Rushmore Report – The Top 10 Reasons People Get Divorced

If you think that sexual infidelity is the leading cause of divorce, you’ve got it all wrong. We polled over 100 YourTango experts to see what they say are the top reasons married couples decide to split, and — believe it or not — communication problems came out on top as the number one reason marriages fail. Here are some other culprits our experts blame for the high divorce rate.

1. Getting in for the wrong reasons.

Marrying for money — we’ve all heard that that is a ticket to a quick divorce, but what about when you marry because it’s what you think you should do?

I’ve met many divorced women who say the problems that made them leave were there right from the beginning but “everyone expected us to live happily ever after” or “we had already spent so much money on the wedding” or “we had just built our dream home.” So, remember, until you say “I do,” you always have the choice to say “I don’t!”

2. Lack of individual identity.

A codependent relationship is not healthy. When you don’t have your own interests or the opportunity to express yourself outside of coupledom, you become “couple dumb.”

If you are not comfortable doing things without your partner, or you don’t know what kind of music, movies, or food you used to like, you are likely in deep and you probably feel like you are drowning and don’t know why.

3. Becoming lost in the roles.

Just as many couples “forget” their single friends and single ways when they get married, when you add children into the mix, most parents soon neglect or completely forget that they are a couple.

As children grow and need less attention, many husbands and wives find that they have grown apart and they can’t remember why they ever got married in the first place because they no longer have anything in common.

4. Not having a shared vision of success.

“Everything changed when we got married!” He drives you crazy because you’re a saver and he’s a spender. Your idea of a weekend getaway is a cozy cottage in the woods; your partner wants to the hit the town and catch a game. He thinks it’s your job to cook and clean, but you disagree.

Why didn’t he mention these things before? Maybe you should have asked. Chances are that he hasn’t changed — your expectations did. Is it possible to survive major differences in philosophy? It is possible, but many do not.

5. The intimacy disappears.

Somewhere in a marriage there is a subtle change in the intimacy department. One person has an off day, there is a misunderstanding or someone doesn’t feel well. Then there’s the idea that he isn’t as romantic or she isn’t as sexual.

Whoever is the one with the subtle change can trigger a downward spiral in the intimacy department. Men generally need sexual receptivity to feel romantic and women generally need romance to be sexually receptive. As long as both people are getting what they need, they willingly provide what the other person wants. However, when there is a lessening on either’s part, that can trigger a pulling back in the other. If gone unnoticed and unchecked, before the couple realizes, they are seriously intimately estranged and wonder what happened. This can lead to divorce as couples begin to feel unloved and unappreciated.

6. Unmet expectations.

Somewhere written into a human’s genetic code lie the instruction that when a person isn’t happy, he or she is supposed to force his/her significant to make the changes required to make the unhappy person happy again. This usually takes the form of complaining, blaming, criticizing, nagging, threatening, punishing and/or bribing.

When one or both people in the marriage are attempting to coerce each other into doing things they don’t want to do for their partner’s happiness, it is a recipe for disaster. When you are unhappy in a relationship, it’s okay to ask for the change you want. But, if your partner doesn’t oblige you, then you become responsible for your own happiness.

7. Finances.

It’s not usually the lack of finances that causes the divorce, but the lack of compatibility in the financial arena.

Opposites can attract but when two people are opposites in the financial department, divorce often ensues. Imagine the conflict if one is a saver and one is a spender. One is focused on the future while the other believes in living for today. One has no problem buying on credit, while the other believes in saving up for what one wants.

Over time, this conflict can reach such heights that divorce seems to be the only logical conclusion.

8. Being out of touch… literally.

I’m talking about physical contact. Of course, sex is great, but you also need to supplement it with little hello and goodbye kisses, impromptu hugs and simply holding hands. Couples who don’t maintain an intimate connection through both sexual and non-sexual actions are destined to become virtual strangers.

9. Different priorities and interests.

Having shared interests and exploring them together is essential for a successful marriage. Of course, having “me time” is important as well, but unless you can find common passions and look for ways to experience them together, you’ll inevitably grow farther and farther apart.

10. Inability to resolve conflicts.

Every couple has disagreements. The key is to develop ground rules so that each partner feels respected and heard. Sometimes it takes a third party “referee” to help define those rules and teach us to move through the charged emotions so resentments don’t linger.

About the Author

Lisa Payne writes for Huff.Post.

The Rushmore Report – Christian Singer Lauren Daigle Performs on ‘Ellen’

Grammy-nominated singer Lauren Daigle was featured on NBC’s popular “Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week, where she showcased her new Christian music. DeGeneres called Daigle “amazing” before the Christian singer took the stage to perform “Rolling Stones” off of her recently released album Look Up Child.

Daigle sang, “Six feet under, I thought it was over. An answer to prayer, the voice of a Savior. Rise up, rise!”

After the performance, DeGeneres rushed on stage, hugged Daigle, and joked that the former “American Idol” alum was so successful because DeGeneres was a judge while Daigle did a short stint on the popular singing competition show.

Daigle had announced her special appearance on “Ellen” in a Facebook post, and while some praised her for it, others took issue because of DeGeneres’ open lesbian lifestyle. However, as Daigle said in a recent interview with The Christian Post, she is remaining true to her call of going outside of the church to share the Gospel.

“I think the passage that says, ‘Go out into the world and draw people unto Him,’ the Great Commission, that’s what I think about in regard to the mainstream aspect,” Daigle told CP in the interview. “I wasn’t looking at making my music as in mainstream versus Christian. I was like, ‘Okay, what is the purest version of me? Or what is the purest thing that God has written into my spirit and how do I express that? How do I communicate that?’”

The 27-year-old Louisiana native said she’s not afraid to appeal to the world with her message of hope, which some fear might lead her astray and to abandon her worship roots to become a secular artist. Daigle, however, said her faith and mission in life have never been clearer.

 

The Rushmore Report – Five Keys to Raising Christian Kids

In the last couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at several Christian conferences and churches on the importance of parents teaching their kids apologetics (how to make a case for and defend the truth of the Christian faith). When I speak, I often begin by asking the following two questions. First, I ask parents, “How many of you have come here already knowing that our world is becoming very secular and that your child’s faith is likely to be challenged in some way because of it?”

One hundred percent of the hands go up…every time.

Second, I ask parents, “How many of you would go to the next step of saying you’re confident that you know specifically what those big faith challenges are, how to effectively address them with your kids, and how that translates into parenting responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?”

Zero percent of the hands go up…every time.

As I’ve blogged about Christian parenting for the last four years, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from hundreds of parents. This gap between 1) knowing our secular world will influence our kids’ faith and 2) understanding what exactly that means for parents, is nearly universal. And it often leads to fear and frustration—parents know there’s a problem but they don’t know the solution.

It’s that gap that led me to write Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith. I wanted to help parents identify and understand 40 of the most important faith challenges they need to discuss with their kids so those challenges no longer feel ambiguous and unmanageable. But even once parents gain this critical understanding, the question remains: How does this translate into parental responsibilities?

Here are five key things to consider.

1. Parents must commit to continually deepening their understanding of Christianity.

In a secular world, kids will frequently encounter challenges to their faith—especially from vocal atheists. Atheists are often well prepared to lay out their arguments against God and Christianity in particular. Unfortunately, many Christian parents are not equally prepared to teach their kids the case for the truth of Christianity and how to defend their beliefs. Questions like the following are critically important for kids to understand today, but few parents are equipped to proactively address them: What evidence is there for the existence of God? Why would a good God allow evil and suffering? How can a loving God send people to hell? Is faith in God the opposite of reason? What are the historical facts of the resurrection that nearly every scholar agrees on? How can Christians believe miracles are even possible? How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote? Does the Bible support slavery, rape, and human sacrifice (as skeptics allege)?

In the past, when society was at least more nominally Christian, parents may have been able to avoid addressing the more difficult questions of faith with their kids (not that they should have!). But today’s challenges require much more from faithful Christian parents. We must learn what the big challenges are, equip ourselves to engage with them, and commit to continually deepening our understanding of our faith so we can guide our kids accordingly.

2. Parents must intentionally make “spiritual space” in their home.

It’s not enough to deepen your own understanding of Christianity, of course. Somehow you have to transfer that understanding to your kids, and that transfer requires carefully set aside time. The kinds of faith conversations we need to be having with our kids today (like the questions listed in point 1) are simply not going to happen in a meaningful way unless you make spiritual space for them. By spiritual space, I mean dedicated time for your family to engage together in growing your understanding of and relationship with God. There’s no reason such a time shouldn’t be scheduled just like all the other (less important) activities in your life. If you’re not currently doing this, start with just 30 minutes per week. That’s reasonable for any family.

3. Parents must study the Bible with their kids. Really.

Even if you know Bible study is important, statistics show you’re probably not doing it: Fewer than 1 in 10 Christian families study the Bible together in a given week. If your kids perceive that you’ve effectively relegated the Bible to the backburner of relevancy, they’ll have little reason to see it as the authoritative book Christians claim it to be. It’s absolutely pointless to talk about the Bible being God’s Word if you’re not treating it as such.

Meanwhile, the Bible is a favorite attack point of skeptics and our kids will have ample opportunity to hear how it’s an ancient, irrelevant book filled with inaccuracies and contradictions. If you’re not regularly studying the Bible with your kids, there’s a good chance they’ll eventually stop caring what it has to say.

4. Parents must proactively and regularly ask their kids what questions they have about faith.

In a secular world, where kids are constantly hearing competing worldviews, questions are guaranteed to continually arise. But there are many reasons kids may never actually ask them—they have too many other things going on, they’re afraid of your reaction, or they are simply not interested enough to bring them up.

In our house, we’ve implemented a scheduled “questions night” to help with this. You can read about how to start your own in my article, How to Get Your Kids to Ask More Questions about Their Faith.

5. Parents must ask their kids the tough questions they don’t think to ask.

If you regularly encourage your kids to ask questions about faith (see point 4), you’ll have lots of great conversations. But many questions that are important for kids to understand in preparation for the secular world they’ll encounter are ones that might never cross their mind to ask. For example, most kids don’t think to ask how we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote. But that doesn’t mean they won’t almost certainly encounter skeptics who tell them the Bible is completely untrustworthy for that reason. Just as we don’t wait for our kids to ask questions about World War II before deciding when, what, and how to teach them about it, we shouldn’t wait until our kids encounter challenges before we address them. They’ll undoubtedly hear about these topics from skeptics at some point, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t hear about them from us first.

About the Author

Natasha Crain is the author of Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side.

The Rushmore Report – Five Principles for Raising a Godly Family

Godly families are the bedrock of any spiritual community, and having godly children is a blessing that many parents long for. The big question many are asking is how does one actually produce a godly family. Issues of parenting and family discipline are not easy to advise on, because hard and fast rules are difficult to come by.

Even a cursory look at both biblical and historical heroes of faith shows that these men and women were not necessarily the best parents. So, is there any hope? Strategies that work with certain children and certain families don’t work exactly the same way with others; advice from younger parents (I am currently raising five children myself) doesn’t have the blessing of hindsight, while advice from older parents has to be tempered with the understanding that parents today are parenting in a different culture to that in which the previous generation was raised.

Despite these challenges, there are some timeless principles that we should not deviate from. And in examining these principles, I asked my own parents for advice. For the record, they raised four children, who are all serving the Lord in some capacity—my brother Wes and I have been part of the leadership team at International House of Prayer in Kansas City for most of the life of this organization. So, here is the advice from my parents.


Principle One: Godly Families Begin with Godly Marriages.

“It is critical to begin with a right understanding about the subject of families, and that is this: God is FOR family, and God is for you. The Godhead is a family, and it is clear throughout scripture that it’s God’s desire to extend this family. Family begins with the marriage of a man to a woman. Marriage is a God covenant, a God idea—it was not just a good idea thought up by someone down the centuries. The permanency of such a covenant, in an age where marriage is anything but permanent, is the primary foundation to create a good bedrock for a godly family.”

Principle Two: Raising Godly Children Is a Parent’s Mandate and Responsibility.

“God said to the first married couple, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.’ As man was made in the image of God, His desire was that His offspring would also be reproduced in His image. This injunction from God has not changed. Christian couples must always be mindful that God desires them to send out kingdom offspring, in His image, and as lights into a dark world. This is a big responsibility that God has given to married couples.”

“It can never be emphasized too strongly that bringing up children in the nurture and love of God is a divine call and command. There is always a danger that couples, perhaps unconsciously, consider their children to be appendages and burdens which bring restrictions upon their own personal plans and lives. The reality is that in the span of eternity (and let’s be honest, even the span of an adult life), the time taken to raise a child from birth to adulthood is very brief. In these years, the influence that parents will have on their children, for good or bad, is incalculable. The Word says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and . . . he will not depart from it.’ Remember—however you act as a parent, will train your child.”

“Further, a married couple who are Christian must always be aware that it is their own responsibility as parents to bring their children up in the love and nurture of the Lord. So many couples abdicate this responsibility, and seek to transfer it onto their church leaders and church communities. Other influences can be good, but cannot replace parental responsibility before God.”

Principle Three: Discipline in a Godly Family.

“Discipleship is about living in obedience to God’s will and purpose; many people find it difficult to live in obedience to God when they have never learnt to be obedient to their parents in the first place.”

“People often equate discipline and punishment as being the same thing; it is not. A couple must be united, one together, with the disciplines they place around their family for safety and protection. Punishment only occurs when children flagrantly disobey what they have been clearly told by their parents to do, or not to do. We always found when our children understood this, there was rarely any need for punishment.”

Principle Four: Maintaining a Right Attitude.

“One important family value, which we have built in as a discipline, has been that we do not argue or carry bad attitudes with each other—the child is taught from an early age to resolve conflict with a right attitude. These issues were often what we talked and prayed about at the ‘family altar,’ and this was how issues were generally settled.”

Principle Five: Praying as a Family.

“It can be cliché, but it is true—the family that prays together, stays together. Parents must pray together as a couple, and with their children. The importance of such a family altar can never be emphasized enough. Many have asked us through the years, ‘At what age do you start to pray with your children?’ The truth is that couples should already be praying together before the children arrive, as part of a healthy marriage, so that when children are born, they are brought into the correct environment. Children should never be in an environment where family prayer is not a normal part of family life. A family’s life in God together should never be underestimated—it is the foundation of a strong family in an ungodly world.”

Families who pray, pull, and play together stay together, and shine out as a bright light in a dark and confused world.

About the Authors

Jim Hall started life as a farmer in Northern England. He entered full-time Christian ministry in the 1970s, working as an evangelist with British Youth for Christ. Jim has also served as a Senior Pastor, planting two churches in the North East of England.

He has been married to Jessica, who is originally from the London area, for nearly 50 years.  Jessica has worked alongside Jim as well as being a high school teacher. They have four children who are all married and actively involved in serving the Lord in different capacities. Two of their sons Wesley and Jono have been on staff at IHOPKC for a number of years.

Advice from a Dad

Heinrich Bullinger was a good pastor and a better father. He was born in 1504 to a priest who, in his old age, embraced Reformation views, such as “the just shall live by faith.” Though it cost him his church, it gained him a son.

Young Heinrich fell in love with Martin Luther’s writings, Melanchthon’s books, and the study of the Bible. At the remarkably young age of 27, he was asked to take the place of slain Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli as pastor of the Grossmunster of Zurich. He ascended the pulpit there on December 23, 1531.

Bullinger continued Zwingli’s practice of preaching through books of the Bible, verse by verse. His home, like his Bible, was open from morning till night, and he freely distributed food, clothing, and money to the needy. His wisdom and influence spread across Euroope. No one was more affected than his son, Henry.

When Henry packed his bags for college, Heinrich gave him this piece of advice: “Fear God at all times, and remember that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

Great advice from a great man. And what worked for Henry will work for you.

James said, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

The Rushmore Report – Joel Osteen Goes Off Script

Joel Osteen is the pastor of America’s largest church. Lakewood Church in Houston boasts a weekly worship attendance of about 47,000. A gifted communicator and best-selling author, one would assume Osteen doesn’t have a care in the world. One would assume that nothing fazes him. But that would be wrong. At a recent appearance at a Virginia church, Joel Osteen went off script. And what he said about his personality was not expected. Osteen shared a personal flaw with his audience.

That flaw, in his own words, is that “I want people to like me.” But he has accepted that some people never will.

“My personality type is that I want people to like me. This is my nature. I got into the public eye, and I realized that some people won’t like me because they don’t like what I stand for. They don’t like that I’m successful. But I realized that you won’t get everyone to like you.”

Osteen shared his thoughts at Lifepoint Church, near Washington, D.C., while promoting his new book, Next Level Thinking.

Before delving into a discussion with Lifepoint Church’s senior pastor, Osteen told the 1,650 people who had gathered to hear him speak that he didn’t come prepared with a special message, but ended up sharing one anyway.

“I believe that God can take you places that you can’t go on your own. When you honor God with your life, when you keep him in first place, you don’t know what kind of door God’s gonna open. I never dreamed I’d be a minister, but you know what? God’s plan for your life is always bigger than your own.”

When questioned about the negative chatter on social media, Osteen replied, “I don’t spend any energy on the Twitter universe or social media. And I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I just don’t put any energy into it. I mean, life is too short to put energy into negative emotion and I feel at peace when I’ve done the right thing.”

The Rushmore Report – Rethinking the Rainy Day Fund

On the road to building personal wealth, everyone hits a roadblock sometimes. Whether it’s an unexpected job loss or a surprise medical bill, it’s bound to strike when you least expect it – and often when you’re least prepared for it. That’s when it’s time to tap into your rainy day fund. The classic savings account for a rainy day is designed for those unexpected misfortunes that might otherwise bring you to the precipice of a financial crisis.

American savings habits, however, are no longer what they used to be, and creating this financial shield in a world of shopping online, with overnight delivery, isn’t as easy as it used to be. A recent survey found that 57 million Americans don’t have any savings accounts in place for emergencies (or for that matter, retirement).

There are, however, a few tools that can help you keep this vital account in place when you’re tempted by a new TV or vacation.

First, make sure your rainy day fund is accessible – but not too accessible. Dan Andrews, founder of Well Rounded Success, a personal finance consulting firm based in Fort Collins, CO, says a good way to do that is to have it at a different bank from your day-to-day checking and savings accounts. The account should hold money you can access immediately – not funds tied up in stocks, certificates or deposit or retirement accounts. Good places to stash your funds include high yield savings accounts and money market accounts.

How much should you have in a savings account for this purpose?

“I will stipulate that clients have four to six months of cash in their bank account in addiction to whatever I’m managing,” says Chris White, a certified financial adviser and the author of Working with the Emotional Investor. “That makes it less likely they’ll call for distributions at an inopportune time.”

One way to jump start your rainy day fund: when you receive a cash windfall, whether you got a tax refund or you’ve finally paid off a loan and have extra money on hand each month, funnel that into a high interest savings account until it has reached a sufficient level. Keep that four to six months of expense range in mind. Once you’re beyond that goal, you should consider putting the money into a retirement account, such as an IRA, CD, or Money Market account.

If you’re carrying debt, try to get it paid off as quickly as possible. By eliminating interest payments, you’ll reach your savings goals more quickly. And even as you’re paying down that debt, you should put a small amount into the rainy day fund each week or month at the same time to stay in the habit of contributing.

Finally, if you’ve been looking to kick an expensive habit, like smoking or drinking, establishing a high yield savings account can be a good motivation. The national average price for a pack of cigarettes is $6.16. Putting that money from a pack-a-day habit into a rainy day fund would add up to $2,248 per year.

About the Author

Chris Morris regularly contributes to national outlets including Fortune, CNBC.com, Voice of America, Variety, and Common Sense Media, as well as to dozens of other major publications.

 

The Rushmore Report – NFL’s Philip Rivers Credits the Success of His Marriage to Jesus

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is known for many things. Since taking over the reins as starting quarterback in 2006, Rivers has never missed a start, has thrown at least 20 touchdowns a season, and passed for more than 4,000 yards in eight of the last nine years. And while he is well on his way to being the greatest QB in Chargers history, less discussed is his unwavering commitment to his family and his strong connection to his faith.

In a recent sit-down with Rock Church’s Pastor Mile McPherson (a former San Diego Charger himself), Rivers opened up about his Catholic upbringing and how his relationship with Christ informs every decision that he makes.

Born and raised Catholic in a small town in northern Alabama, Rivers described Jesus as the “center of my life” since a very young age. He was an altar boy at church and attended mass every Sunday with his parents and two younger siblings, but it wasn’t until he went away to college at North Carolina State that his faith “really became my own.”

“My faith has always been very important to me,” Rivers told McPherson. “When I went to college is really when it became my own. I had to get up out of that dorm room and go to church, go to mass on Sunday. That’s when I took ownership of my faith.”

Rivers married his middle school sweetheart at the age of 19. Some 16 years later, the two have eight children—six girls and two boys—together. He shared that “remaining pure” and “being chaste” prior to getting married were “very important” to them, and since he “didn’t have a penny to my name” when they got married, Rivers said the foundation of their relationship was and is Jesus.

“I think that the center of our marriage and the foundation of our relationship was on Jesus,” he said. “That is why it’s worked to this point.”

Toward the end of the discussion, Rivers shared one of his favorite Bible versus, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, which became particularly important to his family in the wake of his son Gunner’s type one diabetes diagnosis.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

“I hope that God has used me to touch one of you in your faith journey with Jesus,” he concluded.

About the Author

This article first appeared on the newswire of the Christian Broadcasting Network.