Comfort it is not a word that we use often… but over this last week I have thinking a lot on edification and comfort.
In the last few weeks with special services all across North America, I’ve been privileged to go to many services from a number of Apostolic groups, the UPCI, the ACOP, the PAW, both physically and online; each service and group contributing to the body of Christ with their own unique flavor.
But one thing kept nagging at my spirit, comfort… we’re the people receiving any comfort?
May times we go to conferences to be challenged, to shake us up, to be awakened and get back on tract serving the Lord, but what happens when we walk into a service, wounded, or suffering or in pain?
Life, trials, troubles, work, stress, deaths, sorrow, a new baby, a trip, aloneness, the loss of a loved one, unemployment or low employment, not having the funds to pay for all, widowhood… good and bad stressors, they take a lot out of us in the day to day living we all experience, and I wonder do we ever take the time to allow ourselves to be comforted?
Last night, as always I ask the Lord what he wanted to say to the church, and for years when I ask this question he has never failed me with an answer, but even knowing that, there is still a bit of stress, not knowing if I will hear from him or if I will even have that message.
This morning though, was no exception… I woke to the sounds of a wonderful thunderstorm, as a storm baby, I love to listen to storms, it brings comfort, clears the air of the heat and gets the air just charged with ions, a great feeling,
It reminds me as a child how at first I was so scared of thunder storms, not knowing or understanding what they were… but then my father would comfort. At first when I was little. he said the Lord was just rolling some barrels across the sky, nothing to worry about, and he would fill me with wonder, wondering what the Lord was doing with the barrels.
Then as I grew up – that didn’t work anymore, and he explained the science behind the storm, and taught us how to not be afraid but to enjoy the sounds, the lightening, the incredible rain.
We had an old fashion Victorian home, with a large veranda, something that I miss a lot, that was the best place to sit out a storm, the heat and mugginess would be almost unbearable in Sussex, and you could feel the thunderheads building, and then that first crack of thunder would happen, and I would relax and we children would take a glass and sit on the veranda, safe from lightening, dry from the pouring rain, but feeling the coolness… then taking our glass we would hold it under the rain coming off the veranda roof, it would take just seconds to fill it.
The comfort of those times, was so beautiful.
Family on the porch, the coolness of the rain, God was in his heaven caring for us all.
It brought, quiet peace, joy and the feeling of being so loved… and yes, comforted.
If I had to say something was missing from today…and this life we are living now… it would be that feeling of quiet peace and comfort.
The Lord gave me these scriptures for you today, lets look at them
1 Peter 5:7 KJV
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
There is so much in that…lets read the context in the Amplified..
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, 7 casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack–rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.
Beautiful words of comfort.
The Lord himself is referred to as the God of all comfort.
King James Bible
2 Cor. 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
The early church and the Apostle Paul were going through so many trials and tribulations but listen to how he writes to the church at Corinth
3 Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. 6 But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we [b]experience. 7 And our [c]hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about [d]our trouble in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], how we were utterly weighed down, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life [itself]. 9Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. 10 He rescued us from so great a threat of death, and will continue to rescue us. On Him we have set our hope. And He will again rescue us [from danger and draw us near], 11while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then thanks will be given by many persons on our behalf for the gracious gift [of deliverance] granted to us through the prayers of many [believers].
12 This is our [reason for] proud confidence: our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world [in general], and especially toward you, with pure motives and godly sincerity, not in human wisdom, but in the grace of God [that is, His gracious lovingkindness that leads people to Christ and spiritual maturity]. 13 For we write you nothing other than what you read and understand [there is no double meaning in what we say]. And I hope you will [accurately] understand [divine things] until the end; 14just as you have [already] partially understood us, [and one day will recognize] that you can be proud of us just as we are of you, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
God Works In All Things
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
More than Conquerors
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Trials, troubles, we all react differently to them, some run, some, freeze, some physically faint, some just get cranky and start fighting with everyone around them… judging and condemning, stress does so much to all of us…
Paul knew about stress, stress to the point of death… it was affecting him and everyone around him..
But Paul, Peter, and the Apostles also knew a great secret, they knew how to access the God of all comfort…
To be part of the kingdom of God… to repent and humble yourself, to cast all your cares and sins upon the Lord, through prayer and to have the Lord wash those sins and cares away in water baptism and then to allow the Lord to fill you with his spirit, the Holy Ghost, his spirit residing within you, a comforter not just on the outside but living within you,
To come into the kingdom of God… to allow the Lord to be your comfort not just for one time event for salvation but to be there everyday, resident and president, as a precious heavenly Father.. to bring you comfort and help…during the heat of the day and through the storms of life…Jesus said it this way…
John 14:18 KJV
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
New King James Version
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
So lets humble ourselves and pray, and seek the Lord and give him all of our pain, our sorrow, our cares, anything that is worrying you, as his children, he deeply cares for us just as any good father would.