“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
As we come to the close of yet another year, I can’t help but think of the beautiful mercies of God’s comfort. Like many years throughout my life, there have been peaks and valleys, but throughout, God’s sustaining grace has held, comforted and guided me in all situations. In an ever-changing world His love, mercy and grace is a constant I know I can depend upon. Even when the storms of life batter against my soul, there is a deep abiding peace knowing He is always with me.
At the time of this writing I was listening to Handel’s Messiah. I love the songs and the beauty of the music. One of my favorites quotes Scripture from Isaiah 9:6&7 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
It boggles my mind to think that God in His infinite love for us sent His one and only Son to be a sacrifice so we might know Him personally. Not only that, but He’s promised He would never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that He would send the Holy Spirit as a Helper/Comforter (John 14:26). As I ponder and reflect over the years of my life I am continually amazed at the constant of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Google describes comfort as:
1.a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
“room for four people to travel in comfort”
prosperity and the pleasant lifestyle secured by it.
“my father left us enough to live in comfort”
synonyms: ease, relaxation, repose, serenity, tranquility, contentment, coziness; More
the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress.
“a few words of comfort”
synonyms: consolation, solace, condolence, sympathy, commiseration; More
a person or thing that helps to alleviate a difficult situation.
“his friendship was a great comfort”
a warm quilt.
verb: comfort; 3rd person present: comforts; past tense: comforted; past participle: comforted; gerund or present participle: comforting
ease the grief or distress of; console.
“she broke down in tears and her friend tried to comfort her”
I much prefer Dr. Charles Stanley’s description in the December issue of In Touch magazine: “If you look up comfort in the dictionary you will find one definition of the word. But take a look at John 14:16 KJV and you’ll discover quite a different meaning. In that verse, Jesus describes the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit and calls Him “the Comforter.” That term means “the one who comes to stand by our side the one who comes to our aid.” (Page 57 quoted with permission).
“The one who comes to stand by our side the one who comes to our aid.” What an awesome thought! The God of all creation sends someone personally to stand by our side and come to our aid. Oh what marvelous love and commitment!
I don’t know what your year looked like, or what the next year holds. But I do know God is faithful and He holds all who love Him securely in the palm of His hand, and He keeps his promises. Just as He promised He would never leave or forsake us, He has also promised He’s coming again. (Revelation 22) and that we need to be ready watching for His return. (1 Corinthians 16:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-22)
As we head into 2015 I pray we will be urgent with the message of the Great Commission and “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Jesus ~ Matthew 28:20) Take seriously the job of sharing truth and love with everyone you encounter from this day forward. Let the comfort of Christ overflow richly in everything you say and do so others may be comforted as well.
Wishing you and yours a blessed close to 2014 and a marvelous 2015. To God be the glory in all things.