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Our Greatest Comfort

Today’s Reflection

THIS DARK SEASON of Advent presents us with many challenges. Some of these challenges include fear, loneliness, isolation, or thoughts that remind us of past losses and difficulties. Advent can also magnify these experiences when others are being swept up in the joy and festivities of the season. Lively songs may awaken grief. Sounds and smells may bring back memories of special times that also awaken feelings of loss or loneliness. Our greatest comfort during these difficult times may be in knowing that God understands.

—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

What helps you remember that God understands whatever you’re feeling in this season?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.”
—2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God of Light, be my hope in this season. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites you to experience the weeks before Christmas differently this year. “We all need this time of Advent to slow us down, to open our ears to God’s quiet voice, to guide us through the chaos of the consumerist culture that Christmas has become.” Join us for Child of the Light, an eCourse experience from The Upper Room.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill December 2, 2019, 4:25 am

    It is good to know that He knows. He knows my struggles, He knows what has transpired and He only knows my thoughts. That is a comfort. And that He extends grace beyond measure – this is my assurance. His faithfulness through good and bad times is my hope.
    Dad is sad and lonely. Last night a group of us volunteered at the local shelter. We had extra help from local students, so my friend sat with my dad talking, while some of us were dishing out the soup. She said he is really hurting. He talks so freely with her about mom. He offered her their Christmas tree – he told her he just can’t bring himself to do any decorating, that was always mom’s gift and happiness. Conversation was muted and somber on the way home. In the darkness of evening – going home to a very empty house is hard on him. He admits that he tries to stay busy – but it just masks so much of his free time.
    Thank you UR family for how faithfully you have prayed for my dad. Please continue to do so. These December weeks will be emotional.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 2, 2019, 4:56 am

      Jill, keeping your dad in prayers. May he be surrounded by loving people and meaningful activities to serve God and the community.

      Blessings!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 2, 2019, 5:14 am

    It is indeed our greatest comfort knowing that God understands our challenges and difficult times in life. His presence, comfort through His word and people in our life, His ever present help and guidance, His goodness and faithfulness make a difference.

    Thank you God for being our greatest comfort!

    • Bj December 2, 2019, 6:34 am

      Blessings!

  • Julie December 2, 2019, 8:26 am

    I know God understands my struggles because in several weeks we celebrate the birth of our Savior. He came not just to redeem us from sin but also to comfort and heal and learn about human suffering and pain.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry. I have been praying daily that God focuses Larry’s heart on the warm, happy memories and grant him peace.
    Prayers for Mary as she continues mission preparations.
    Prayers for BJ this holiday season, may she blessed.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and their relationship, may it mend during the holidays.
    Prayers and thank you UR

  • robert moeller December 2, 2019, 11:04 am

    Jill, my first Thanksgiving and Christmas came quickly after the passing of my wife November 17th and despite many efforts to keep them, as much as possible, like the ones we celebrated for the years she was with us, it was tough. I’m thankful that there are many people around your Dad who are spending time with him. That is a blessing.

    My daughter recently remarked that her Mom has been gone for as long as she was in Jenny’s life. In that way of thinking I have another year to go and perhaps four more if I count from the time I first saw her.

    Thankful that the roof work was completed yesterday afternoon as we had snow in the evening and there is more predicted. Thank You, Lord.

    Thankful that Erich figured out the circuit breakers and power has been restored. Used a bad extension cord and two rooms had no power overnight.
    Junked the extension cord and bought a surge protector.

    Thankful for help with the train layout buildings: have a diagram of the castle ruins, plans and photos for the train station, and models I can use for the brickyard.

    A was very helpful to be able to walk down the street and use the wifi at the library this morning. Count your blessings, each and every one, God is bountiful. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for Mary, her students, mission work, and well being. Miss Marcy, Connie, Andrea and Lowell, Betsy, Kelsey and Harrison, and Lou. Prayers for Julie’s medical and living situations. Thankful for all who post, come, read, and spend time at the UR. You are a blessing. God’s peace to you all on this second day of Advent.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 2, 2019, 9:31 pm

    Thank you Julie and Robert for your prayers!

    Prayers for Jill, Julie, Robert and Erich and their wellbeing.

    May God bless you and your families abundantly!

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