Real Comfort is…
Because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Once we discover divine comfort it is easy to dismiss human comfort. Likewise, when we are lacking both divine comfort and human comfort, we cannot endure the sense of banishment and isolation that can fall upon our hearts, and we will seek comfort for one’s self in anything or justify one’s self to seek to fill the void.
However, God’s grace enables and encourages us to find genuine, lasting comfort. Everyone seeks to enjoy the benefits of his grace, because each person who benefits from his grace is exalted and guided by the sovereign hand of our Almighty Father. To those under his care there are no burdens we cannot endure.
Comfort is a need we have. We are always searching for something or someone to comfort us. It is extremely challenging to us to forsake ourselves – our need is for comfort. In that search we need to learn to part with even a near and dear friend to claim the love of God. Do not take it hard when you are deserted in return by a friend. Sooner or later, all of us must be separated from the comfort of one another. It is necessary so that we can strive to live long and mightily within ourselves before we can learn to master and understand ourselves completely and move all of our heart towards God. However, when we place our trust in ourselves, we lean too easily toward human comforts. But a person who truly loves Christ and truly seeks after his ways does not fall back upon worldly comforts or things pleasing our senses, but rather prefers difficulties and challenges just as Christ modeled for us by his life.
Therefore, when God gives us spiritual comfort, receive it with thankfulness, but understand it is given to us as a gift of grace, and not because of any merit of ours. We should not be puffed up or overjoyed or proudly presumptuous because of the gift, but we are to remain humble for it and grow more watchful and fearful in how we respond to the gift, for surely temptation will soon follow. Likewise, we should not despair when the gift of his comfort is taken away from us, but wait humbly and patiently for another visit from him, for God is able to give us even greater comfort – greater grace – than we can believe.
As a saint we are to expect sudden spiritual changes that will take us out of times of comfort, but God is faithful and he will bring us back to the comfort of his presence in our lives. Whether in prosperity or times of despair and sense of separation from God’s immediate presence, we should proclaim: “I shall never be moved!” David provided his testimony that God’s Word reveals he received the fruit of prayer as he testified to the Lord’s response in his life. We should do likewise. The result was David’s desire to glorify the Lord for returning him to places of comfort near his Lord and Savior.
If great saints were dealt with in this way, we who are weak and poor in spirit should not despair if we are sometimes spiritually hot and sometimes spiritually cold, for the Spirit comes and goes according to the good pleasure of God’s will. What then can we hope and what should we trust – but in God’s great mercy alone and the hope of his grace? For God alone, his grace and presence in our lives should be the sole anchor of our faith and hope as we face the challenges and temptations in this life – there alone we will enjoy the comfort we desire and eternally deserve!
My daily prayer: Father God, in you alone I know that lasting, genuine comfort – the true peace in my heart, soul, mind and spirit resides. I thank you for your faithful mercy and compassion. I am humbled by your forgiveness when I have wandered to find comforts that never satisfied and led to conflict or chaos in my life. In you alone rest the comfort that fills the void when you are not in my life. I thank you my Lord and Savior. Please reveal this truth to my loved ones and my friends through the way my life reflects your presence upon my life. May all praise, glory and honor always rest upon you alone in my life. Amen
For additional reading: Matthew 26:41; Job 42:12; Psalm 30:6-11; John 3:8; Galatians 5:5; Colossians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Hebrews 6:18-19