Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I often thank God for Maranatha Bible Church. We all from time to time suffer trials and tribulations, sometimes sudden, inexplicable tragedies that have the potential to crush us. But the Father of mercies and God of all comfort has placed us in a church family and surrounded us with those who love us in both times of joy and sorrow; Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
For seven years John Fawcett was the Pastor of a poor, small Baptist church at Wainsgate, England. Then in 1772, Pastor Fawcett received a call to the much larger and affluent Cater's Lane Baptist Church in London, a congregation that could have provided this humble Pastor with a much needed larger income for his growing family. He formally accepted the call and had preached a farewell sermon. But the love and tears of his beloved Church family at Wainsgate prevailed and he decided to remain as their Pastor.
Years later he wrote these words to his most famous hymn, "Blessed Be the Tie that Binds":
Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
Before our Father's throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes,
our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.
When we are called to part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart.
and hope to meet again.
Thank God for our Church family. Brethren, in times of sorrow and pain, let us always comfort one another with the comfort we have received from Him. Maranatha!