Sunday, January 8, 2012

By Your Side

This morning, I attended church at The Gathering, an international church with an English service. Every time I've attended church here since I've been in Thailand (not even a handful), the message is exactly what I needed to hear on that day. Today was no different.

The third song of the service brought me to tears. Have you ever heard a song that felt like it could have been written for you in that moment? This was that song for me today -

Just singing these words would have been enough, but God didn't stop there.

The sermon was about discouragement and 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, the "God of all comfort." This has definitely been something I'm learning by experience in being here, but was re-affirmed & re-enforced through the message.

There were three main points pointed out from this passage.

First, remember who God is - the Father of compassion and God of all comfort. It's in discouraging times, trials, emptiness, etc. that we meet the God of all comfort. This doesn't mean that everything will work out OK immediately, it may or may not. It means that God is always there by your side throughout the whole time. He always is - in good & bad times.

Second, my trial, suffering, etc. may not be about me at all, but about how God will be glorified through that trying time and use it to reach others. One statement that really jumped out at me was "it's tempting in these times (trials, suffering, etc.) to make it about me & to stop becoming a channel of His grace to others"! This is where Satan really works on me - pity parties! I constantly am reminding myself of Who brought me here & why He did.

Third, imagine what God can do in you through this trial. Verse 9 says, "this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God." How true this is - God brought me halfway around the world to learn how to completely depend on Him! And how I have had to! I'm learning that the big changes and shifts that God works on the inside of us come through trying times.

As I was reflecting on this message, I also had a thought that trials bring about communion. They draw people together in prayer and thanksgiving and through that draw people closer to God.

This is what I learned today. I wanted to put it here so I wouldn't forget it and for anyone else who needs to hear it.

As I look back on the two and a half months that I've been here, I can see the many ways God is working in me - changing me & shaping me into the woman He created me to be. If he can do this amount of work in not quite three months, I'm SO excited to see what He will do in two years! It may be (probably will be) painful, but SO worth it!

Serving Him,


  1. GOD took you half way around the world. HE doesn't make mistakes. You are where you're supposed to be and although our "trial" is missing your physical presence in our midst. It is worth it, knowing that you are furthering HIS kingdom.

  2. Dear Alicia,
    This is such a wonderful message. How could anyone not find comfort in it. It is such a joy to read about your growth in Christ and what an encouragement to all of us. Hopefully we can all get to where God wants us to be.
    To God be the glory through all of this.