5 For even when we arrived in Macedonia, our bodies had no ease or rest, but we were oppressed in every way and afflicted at every turn—fighting and contentions without, dread and fears within [us].
6 But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.
Sometimes, I awake to my day, my body unrested, my thoughts contentious and fears trying to oppress me. Whether it is physical aches and pains or emotional and mental ones that have kept me from rest, I awake with dis-ease.
This dis-ease will follow me throughout the day if I let it. It is like a perfect storm brewing. No rest, anxious thoughts, and a migraine lead me to the perfect storm of discouragement. Yet, this day is my God destination. It is His plan, for He carried me through the night and allowed me awake here. I am in this day by God’s hand just as Paul was in Macedonia.
This moment in Macedonia for Paul was a very heavy moment. The body of Christ in Ephesus, where he had sown and ministered for about two years, had not only chosen to walk in sin, but also to question Paul’s authority and integrity when he tried to bring correction. He had sent Titus with a letter for them. Titus didn’t return when he was supposed to. I imagine Paul was afflicted with many tormenting thoughts about those he had loved and nurtured and the letter he had written. Add to that the weight of constant opposition from many other sources. He must have felt like he was sinking in oppression and discouragement.
BUT GOD…….I love those words. God’s “buts” are always the best!
In this gloom and doom moment God buts in. He brings Titus. A man carrying the comfort, refreshment, encouragement and cheer that Paul needed. God always brings what we need, when we need it. I imagine Paul eagerly looked for Titus. He was expecting him because they had to arranged to meet in Troas.
2 Corinthians 2:12-13
12 Now when I arrived at Troas [to preach] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, a door of opportunity was opened for me in the Lord,
13 Yet my spirit could not rest (relax, get relief) because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave from them and departed for Macedonia.
How many times have I, like Paul looked for what comforted me and not found it? So I press on but my heart is still heavy. I keep looking for that comfort and finally the moment comes when I find it. Just like Paul’s “BUT GOD” moment, mine comes when I see my “Titus.” Sometimes it comes in an email, sometimes it comes in a devotional I read. Sometimes, God uses my husband and children. He always has a “Titus” for me.
HE ALWAYS HAS A TITUS FOR YOU, TOO!
Do you feel depressed? Sinking in despair? He is the God who comforts you, encourages you, refreshes you, and cheers you. You may not see your “Titus” in the place you planned or expected but God has him or her on the way to you. Take courage and be encouraged!