Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (2Co 1:3-4).
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God (Isa 40:1).
...God is the great comforter…
He always yearns for holy living in His own, but He also yearns for the comfort of his own. Furthermore, it is God’s will that as God’s helper we comfort those in need. We do not have to plead with God, to persuade God to feel compassion for us. He is already there. Jesus made this defining statement: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35).
It is not perfect church attendance that convinces people we belong to Jesus, but the love and compassion we exercise toward others, especially other believers.
...God Comforts Us…
“It is a very wonderful thing that we have a God who can comfort us in all our troubles. It is one thing to have comfort when the sun is shining and with someone patting us on the back. But, my friend, what we really need is comfort in the time of trouble. We will see that Paul experienced that kind of comfort in his time of trouble. You see, we need the assurance of the presence of God in all the circumstances of life—in the area of our greatest need, in our loneliness, in the desperate hour of life.
“Christianity is just a theory to many people. It is merely a profession; it is like a garment to be put on for special occasions and then worn lightly. It is a stagnant ritual and an empty vocabulary. My friend, may I say to you that the proof of Christianity is how it walks in shoe leather. It wasn't just a theory to the apostle Paul.” (McGee-Abbreviated).
...Christians Are to Comfort Others…
The verses we are using today could be called: “comfort concentrate.” Paul wrote his two letters to the new Christians in the city of Corinth. It was a sin-sex center and not a likely place for the Christian message to take root. One might think that Paul would write letters dealing primarily with the city’s debauchery and write about other things, later. The Holy Spirit had poured out Himself upon the city and was generous with distributing spiritual gifts in the church. Some of the gifts were being used well and some of the showier gifts were puffing up the believers in pride and hindering progress.
One of the greater needs of the people was some deep comfort to their troubled spirits. The ultimate source of comfort is God Himself. But, He wanted to spread comfort around by channeling Himself through others whom He had comforted. When people believed the message of the cross and the resurrection of Christ from the dead, it brought division between those who believed and those who did not believe. Sometimes it caused an unbelieving husband to leave his wife and she was left alone.
People died and the survivors wondered if they would ever see them again. What if Jesus were to come again and caught up the living, what about their loved ones who had already died? This was a question in every city where the Gospel was preached and established. On top of that, persecution was their daily lot as they tried to make a living and share their faith with those who would listen. Some were arrested; some were shunned and isolated from friends and loved ones.
...People need comforting…
The words, “one another” occur often in the New Testament. Our relationship to the Lord is number one. But, that’s not a dead-end. It’s on its way to our relationship with “one another.”
I was a poor-rich kid in Medlock Hollow. May 1 was the day when farmers in our area began planting corn and the day when little boys pulled off their shoes to go barefooted. But it was also the day when the feet of little boys were the most tender. Invariably, I stepped on something or stubbed my toe on a rock or root that brought the blood. There’s only one solution for that! Run in the house as fast as you can go yelling: “Mah-Ma!” I never saw a little wounded boy yelling for his “Daah-De!”
Never mind the blood. He wants his mother of all comfort to hold his foot, soothe him with her low, understanding, loving voice and tell him: “Everything is going to be all right. There, there now.” “Shhhh.” With child in lap, she begins to hum and move back and forth (if she’s in a straight chair) or set the rocker in motion if they are rich enough to own a rocking chair. It works just as well for bee stings and for fingers caught in the screen door.
God is a lot like that in Spirit but He needs people with skin on them to hug and hold and soothe and calm the worst pain and fears! When there’s an accident, when a job is lost, when there’s a death, when a child fails a grade. There is no substitute for someone to show up with a gift for comforting. Sometimes people simply do not realize how valuable a kind, comforting word can be to someone whose inside is shattered or burning down. Comfort ye my people, saith your God. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 22, 2017 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Josh 7-8 P.M. Luke: 2:25-52
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
Let the words of my mouth, and meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:14)
Song for Today:
Fill My Cup Lord (3:28) – (Carroll Roberson)
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