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What a wonderful God we have - he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. We are in deep trouble for bringing you God's comfort and salvation. But in our trouble God has comforted us - and this , too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 (TLB)

So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (TLB)

Bronwyn Ashton Winch lives in Queensland, Australia. It was yet another lonely day when the telephone rang. Bronwyn did not know the person at the other end of the line, but she explained that we belonged to the same church and that she had heard of my ill health. She asked if Bronwyn would appreciate a regular phone call and, perhaps, someone to pray with. Bronwyn gladly accepted, thanking God for this woman's compassion and faithfulness.

At the time, this woman was busy managing a household with school-aged children as well as operating a small home-based business. But she made a point of calling every few days and asking how I was doing. Even if she only had a few minutes to spare, her regular phone call was a lifeline for Bronwyn. It reminded her that she had not been forgotten and allowed her to connect with someone.

After 16 years of being virtually housebound, Bronwyn is receiving phone calls from this faithful woman of god who has now become a very close friend. And as a result of her act of love and service toward someone she did not know, Bronwyn has learned the importance of caring for others.

I can only speak for myself, but I know the peace and comfort I have received, especially this last year, can only come from the love of God. He is the source of my strength and encouragement. It is my prayer and hope that I can share this with the others I meet, especially if they are in need of comfort and encouragement.

Prayer: Compassionate God, thank you for the care you show us through the loving actions of others. Help us share your love and encouragement in the same way, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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