All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:3,4a NLT
Recently a good friend was distressed because her daughter had to go back to work and began to leave my friend’s precious grandson in daycare for the first time. Used to being the center of his world, understandably, the little one did not like his new environment, so cried and refused to eat! As though the poor mother did not feel bad enough, his unhappiness made her feel even more guilty. And grandma was left feeling helpless.
We have all found ourselves in situations that leave us bewildered, hurt and helpless. This pandemic has left our entire nation, and the whole world, desperate for God’s comfort. After Israel had been chastened and suffered for years, the Lord called out to his prophets and leaders, “Comfort, comfort my people.” (Isa.40:1) Could he be calling that same message out to his Church today?
When popular culture thinks of comfort, they may think of shoes, mattresses or even music. However, Christians must understand that our Heavenly Father is the source of ALL our comfort. Comfort is a powerful, fundamental need for our hearts and spirits, not just our bodies. When we search for comfort, apart from God, we fall into addictions, hopelessness and depression.
Just think about it, if we trusted God as our Comforter, why would we turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, overeating, binge shopping, exercising, video gaming or suicide? The enemy, the devil, knows that. He will try to block us from knowing God as our Comforter by any means, then accuse us for falling into the sin that ignorance and denial of that truth leads to.
May I ask you to pause a minute and examine your heart? To whom or to what do you turn when the bottom falls out of your world, when you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and hurting? To what have you turned during this seemingly unending pandemic? I confess that God showed me one thing I have turned to is snacking and chocolate! My pandemic pounds testify to that
At the April Refresh meeting, our friend Jennifer brought her tiny new baby daughter. That tiny child was curled in the safe, loving arms of her mother. What a picture that was of the comfort God wants us to seek in him. She slept trusting in the familiar sound of her mother’s heartbeat. It was a picture of the comfort we are promised in our Father’s arms. In Isaiah 66:13 God gives his people this promise, “I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.” Father God is calling us to crawl into his safe arms, rest our heads on his chest and let our hearts synchronized with his heartbeat and rest.
James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift flows down to us from our Father’s throne. Now, more than ever, we are all in need of the beautiful gift of comfort. Jesus called the Holy Spirit “another Comforter”. He lives in all true believers. Let’s ask him to teach us to turn to God and receive our comfort. Let’s cry out to God before anything else and rely on him for our comfort.
Dear friends, be blessed as you trust only in God for your comfort. May nothing or no one prevent you from seeking and receiving the comfort you need daily. As you live in perfect trust and peace in God, may your comfort overflow to those around you. May our nation be healed as the Church increasingly relies on the comfort of our loving Father. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ April 21, 2021