Romans 5:1-8 (NIV)

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2 Corinthians 1:4

4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

DEVOTION  – Author: Christabel Thomas (Karanatake, India)

After my husband died, I went to live with my son and his family for a time. Later, however, they moved to another country because of my son’s business. I was left alone. Over time I grew discouraged, and self-pity was slowly taking control of me. As I prayed about my situation, I began to sense that Christ had some purpose for me.  While I was praying and waiting for guidance, I discovered a group of women who were interested in studying God’s word. We began to meet, and I led them in studying the Bible. Soon I could see how obeying God’s word was changing their lives. Some of them needed encouragement and counseling, and I could see the Great Counselor and Encourager working in them.  When I read the passage from Romans 5, I better understand how God can turn our difficulties into joys if we persevere. A good way to help overcome loneliness is to make ourselves available to God — to allow God to use our hands, feet, and voice to help and encourage those around us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God has a purpose for each one of us.

LINK2LIFE:  Find a place to serve someone experiencing some pain you have faced.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, when we stuggle with loneliness, help us turn to you and strengthen us to reach out to others.  Help us find joy and peace in you.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Widows living far from family