Lesson 2: “People That Comfort You!”
Study Date: February 18, 2020
The Refreshing Friend
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.  The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:  But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.2 Timothy 1:15-17 KJV
During a difficult season of ministry, I felt totally misunderstood by my peers. Alone. Life was happening in “real time.” I had to make some unpopular decisions concerning my role in a different ministerial organization that I had previously been apart of. Needless to say, there are times when other ministers can be the most judgmental and even “blackball” you in a “spiritual way.” As a consequence, many ministers or persons in leadership suffer in silence. However, God has a way of sending the right person, to say the right thing, at the right time. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
Tired of feeling the mire of ministry and being perceived and not understood, I felt the need to share my feelings and reasons why I made some of the previous ministry decisions with someone. I could not just talk to anyone, they had to be someone who God has led me to. One night I called Rev. Jimmy Burnside, a man whom I hold in high esteem. Rev. Burnside holds no punches. He speaks unpopular truths with love despite who agrees or disagrees. I consider him a father in ministry.
I was not sure how he would respond to my reasoning but I called anyway. He answered and listened thoroughly. For the first time, I shared my concerns, concerning my recent ministry adjustments with someone who I knew would be a confidant.
When I finished speaking he said these words: “Oscar, I know you to be a man of integrity. I know you to be a person that is serious about his walk with God that will do what’s right with the Spirit of Christ and love. I know if you have made a decision it has been based on prayer and seeking God’s will and I know you to be a person to do the right thing.” When he finished speaking, I felt a breath of fresh air. My countenance was lifted and I was encouraged to hold on to my faith because I knew things would eventually get better. Thank you Rev. Jimmy Burnside for being a friend that comforts.
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-18
This is the last letter that Paul wrote to Timothy before his death by Nero in Rome. Paul admonished Timothy not to be ashamed of the Gospel even when others were ashamed of him for preaching the gospel. He chides Timothy not to be ashamed of him, a prisoner of the Lord (See verse 8). Paul was alone and needed a friend to comfort him.
Paul reminded Timothy of those who abandoned him in Asia. He mentioned two men named Phygellus and Hermogenes. However, there was one “somebody” who comforted, refreshed him and encouraged him. His name was Onesiphorus. Onesiphorus’ name means, “bringing profit.” He is one of the “unsung heroes” in the bible. His name is mentioned one other time in chapter 4:19. What we know of him is that Paul asked the Lord to give mercy to his house because he did (4) things for Paul when the chips were down; he oft refreshed me, was not ashamed of my chain, he sought me out very diligently, and found me and he ministered unto me. Onesiphorus was a friend that comforted Paul.
- Why do we need people to refresh us?
- Why do we need people that are not ashamed of us?
- Why do we need people to seek us out when we are down trodden?
- Why do we need people to comfort us?
- How do the following scriptures apply? Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:13 and Galatians 6:2
- How does the Holy Spirit Comfort us according to John 14:26-27?
Group Discussion on Biblical Passages
Read the following passages and discuss the importance of being comforted and the significance of being a person that comforts others.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Group Discussion Questions
- Why do you think some people deserted Paul?
- What did Onesiphorus do for Paul?
- What did Paul want the Lord to do for Onesiphorus?
- Who do you pray for daily?
- Why is it important to comfort those who have been outcast?
- How can you refresh someone going through a difficult time?
- Why should we not assume that everyone is doing well?
- How does it feel to need comfort and not receive it?
- When others cannot comfort you what should you do?
- How does God comfort the afflicted?
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