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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)
On concrete flooring, Russell sat in a pool of sweat and vomit in a Portland Oregon jail cell. Withdrawing from heroin usage and facing twenty years behind bars, the weight of the world crushed down upon him. It’s a good thing he’d been told about the “God of all comfort”.
Desperately in need of hope, Russell cried out to Jesus Christ. Surrendering to God’s will, he was saved and entered into a peace that goes beyond all earthly understanding.
Serving the Lord in prison brought meaning and purpose to his life. When he began a ministry, hundreds of inmates came to Russell for comfort and counselling. Wives divorced their husbands who were incarcerated. Relatives died, and the men couldn’t attend the funerals of their loved ones. Hope was in short supply behind prison walls.
Russell had received boundless comfort and strength from his relationship with the Lord. And he called upon that same comfort to help others during their darkest hours. Released from jail fifteen years early, he’s now going back into the prisons delivering a message of hope and comfort, found only in Christ.
Whatever life throws at us, whether it’s of our own doing, or we’re a victim of circumstances, comfort is available. Strength and great hope are found in the Savior of the world—Jesus!
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