"Be A Titus"

 
"5 When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.
6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
7 His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you."
2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (NLT)
 
A few months ago, my mother and I were having lunch at a local restaurant. My dad at the time had just scheduled his back surgery and the many months of pain he endured, the sleepless nights, and the uneasiness that goes along with impending surgery had my mom a bit anxious.
 
As we were sitting there waiting for our meal, a gentleman approached our table. He is an acquaintance we have known for several years and came over to say hello. He then inquired about my dad. Through the course of that conversation, that man gave to my mother some much needed words of comfort and encouragement. He didn't say anything new or profound or earth-shattering...however, he took the time to listen and offer up words that when fused with God's Holy Spirit ministered to my mother in that moment...and it can all be summed up by two small but powerful words found in 2 Corinthians 7:6 - "But God..."
 
I thanked this kind gentleman for taking the time to come over and chat with us. I told him, "You were a Divine Appointment for us today. God used you to encourage us." The man was moved to tears. He was in disbelief that his simple words could mean so much and make such a difference...that somehow, in the middle of a crowded restaurant God could use him. At that point, the blessing of encouragement worked both ways - this man was not only the giver of encouragement but the receiver as well. "But God!"
 
Paul & the believers in the church at Corinth were in a state of discouragement. They were tired and weary of fighting battles "from every direction." Look at verse 6 and the first part of verse 7 again: "But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy but so was the news he brought..."
God, the God of all Comfort can use any method He desires to "encourage those who are discouraged" and He chose to use an ordinary man...Titus to bring much needed comfort & encouragement to those early believers just as that gentleman brought comfort & encouragement to my mom that day in the restaurant.
 
I know we are focused on Missions this month and while the setting of Paul & Titus takes place in the church, it can easily translate outside the walls of the church as well. We are surrounded each and every time we step outside our door by people who are tired, discouraged & afraid. People whose lives have either stopped working or are broken. How often do we stop and just look around at the lives around us?
 
Try this: Each morning, ask the Lord to give you a Divine Appointment. Ask God to cross your path with the path of someone who needs the message of the "good news" you possess. Let your presence be a "joy" to those around you. Allow God to take control of your days and be a Titus to a world that needs the blessed message of the Gospel. 
 
As a side note, this can also work inside the church as well. Sometimes there are people who come in the church, walk to a pew, sit down and no one takes the time to offer a welcome or a kind & caring word. They might be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders and sometimes an acknowledgement that they are valued or that someone cares can make a difference in their perspective...on life...on God.
 
Don't withdraw from God's helping hand but rather immerse yourself in His Word and reach out to others.
 
Be a Titus in a world that needs Christ!!