Showing posts with the label Comfort

At the end of my comfort zone

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Have you ever wondered why we go 'through' troubles instead of avoiding them all together? Jesus went through a lot of stuff while he fulfilled his ministry on this earth, not avoiding even some of the worst things a person could endure. If he didn't, what makes us think we should? Maybe the reason for going 'through' those troubles is so we can do what Jesus did - help others as they face similar troubles. It is quite possible God is making a way for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others as they face similar trials and troubles. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us to consider where a man stands 'at times of challenge and controversy', not so much where he stands in times of comfort. I believe where we turn, who we loo

Leaving that comfort zone

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites. (Genesis 12:1-6) Most of us would admit to having some form of a 'comfort zone' in which we live, work, relate, or drive. We just don'

Too comfortable?

Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.” Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” (John 11:45-50) A couple of things really stood out to me after reading the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus came out of the grave, after being dead a good couple of days, wrapped completely in grave clothes (hands and feet bound, face wrapped in a headcloth). There before the crowds sto

Don't get too comfortable

Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life; not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road. Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders. I’m a stranger in these parts; give me clear directions. My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!— insatiable for your nourishing commands. (Psalm 119:18) If you have ever been in a situation where you kind of feel like it is 'foreign' to you, you probably felt a little like a fish out of water. You flopped around, struggling to find a way back to where you felt comfort and ease. I know moments like these cause most of us some angst, increasing our anxiety level more and more as we wander around a little lost and insecure. Being a 'stranger' isn't easy to deal with, probably because as 'sojourners' in this place of discomfort we find it hard for us to  move from stranger or foreigner to being at ease dwelling where we are placed. God isn't immune to our discomfort - he has a plan for it!

Share that blessing, please

  3  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.   4  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Have you ever stopped to consider your 'comfort' may be something you need to not just relish, but give away to others who desperately need that same 'comfort'. God's comfort isn't ours to keep - it is meant to be given away. We all experience troubles, but we don't have to be troubled. We all have the means by which to understand and enjoy 'comfort' in the sense that God is on our side, he knows our troubles better than we do, and he isn't about to abandon us to our own devices in those troubles.  Comfort is really the reassurance that we aren't alone. We can also think of it as having one stand with us that will bring 'agreement' again to

Circling the drain?

I have some friends who are cool, calm, and relaxed no matter what comes their way. I have others who seem to get more and more frazzled by each mounting stress in their lives, until they are 'spinning' in absolute frenzy. We all have times when our days just seem to spin out of control. It is not an easy thing for many of us - we don't like to have the control of our days in the hands of anyone else! Whenever control shifts, we feel "out of control" - anxiety creeps in, frustration mingles with our anxious thoughts, until we end up on the edge of wanting to just scream, "Give me back the reigns, fool!" Okay, if this has never described your day, don't read on! If it has...maybe you'd benefit as much as I do from pondering the words of the 23rd Psalm. God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the ri

Did I just say that?

When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. ( Ephesians 4:29   ERV ) Notice our passage today doesn't say "if you talk", or "should you be so inclined as to say something". It says "when" - because we all have moments when our "talk" escapes us kind of unnoticed by our brains! We get those words out there and then think, "Did I just say that out loud?" By then, it is too late! The words that escape our brain's filter often hit a target we never intended to actually hit! The things people need to hear versus the stuff that comes out of our mouths sometimes can be vastly different. The things we each need to hear are the things that help us grow stronger as individuals and ultimately as a community. When these are the words spoken, we become an immovable force the enemy of our souls cannot de

I need a little comfort here

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. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ( 2 Corinthians 1:3-4   NLT )  Did you ever stop to consider the present is preparation for the future - what you go through now is actually going to be the platform from which you can actually bring comfort into the lives of others going through similar circumstances to what you are now living through? With God, there is no "wastage". He uses each circumstance to bring untold lessons into our lives, and then into the lives of others who are either directly or indirectly touched by our lives. God uses "multiplied grace" to reach a world hurting beyond measure - all because he can use our lives as platform from which that grace can be declared and shared! Comfort comes most frequently in this sense

Privilege and Responsibility

It is easy to see bad stuff happening in this world and then to shake angry fists at the perpetrators of this evil, isn't it?  We don't want to believe the evils are even possible, much less that they are becoming a reality around us.  As long as there is breath to breathe on this earth, evil will abound.  This is a fact we can bank on.  So, in the midst of evil, what should be our response?  In the Book of I Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy to do one thing and do it well - pray.  He begins by saying:  " The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live ."  (vs. 1-3 MSG)  The FIRST thing God wants from us is for us to lift to him the very things which cause us so much discontent and concern.  The object of our concern is the greatest th

Tears stain the face, but heal the soul

I have some friends who seemingly cry at the drop of a hat.  You just say something, then almost imperceptibly, the tears begin to well up and there you are, them leaking tears and you standing there holding your hat in your hand!  I've never been one of those individuals who "leaks" tears very often, but a good cry does something to cleanse our soul, doesn't it?  The most precious tears are often shed right when I least expect them.  For example, I can be driving down the road, listening to the Christian station, when a song comes on which "hits" me right where I am in life.  The words do more than carry me along - they minister to my heart.  In turn, I might just "leak" a little! Crying is better than laughing.   It blotches the face but it scours the heart.  (Ecclesiastes 7:3 MSG) Truth is, I like to laugh much better than I enjoy crying!  Yet, there are some definite "types" of tears which I think say much more than any amount of

Sermon Lessons: Comfort

4 "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." (Matthew 5:4) 9-11 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don't ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that's a picture of the "prosperous life." At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. (James 1:9-11) Yesterday we explored the importance of establishing the loss of "control" in our lives as the means of actually giving control to the one who is able to manage our lives the best - God.  Today, we will look at what "losing what is dear to us" really does in our lives.  It is in loss that we underst

God of all comfort

  3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) It is easy for us to believe that God is not with us in our times of suffering.  Paul makes some very interesting comments about God's comfort for us in this passage.  First, he refers to God as "Father of all mercy" or "Father of Compassion/Comfort" (depending on the translation you might be reading from). A father is one who has begotten a child - as such, he has a certain sense of responsibility for that child.  We have lost sight of this sense of