Thursday, April 21, 2016

“Comfort From, Comfort In"

"Comfort From, Comfort In"

     In times of pain, whether physical or emotional, we cannot always immediately feel better.  We can, however, think better and thus believe better.

    "O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember Thee" (Psalm 42:6).
    "This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy Word hath quickened me" (Psalm 119:50).

    Discomfort offers opportunity to remember the Lord in pointed aspects of His Truth we might never consider apart from our hurts.  We discover realities of grace that exist only along difficult and rocky paths.  Pain beckons us to God and His Word, whereupon we frequently discover with the Psalmist "comfort in my affliction" rather than comfort from my affliction.  The latter deliverance "from" is more pleasant.  The former deliverance "in", however, is more illuminating regarding the power of God revealed in our lives.  Indeed, it is one thing for God to simply send an angel to open the doors of the Apostle Peter's prison, allowing immediate escape from difficult challenge (Acts 12:7-9).  It is quite another for the Apostle Paul to linger in Roman prisons for the purpose of writing epistles that would become bright lights of New Testament revelation (Colossians 4:18).

    Ongoing pain, in whatever form, tempts our minds to think in terms of darkness, despair, and unbelief.  We must therefore do something about such challenge.  Again, we may not be able to feel better.  Thus, we take the higher path that leads to more beautiful vistas of the glory of God.  We think better, that is, we remember, ponder, and affirm the truths of Scripture as they relate to God and to our lives.  Thereby we discover that "the Light shineth in darkness", and even more, we become a bright and illuminating lamp of that Light (John 1:5).  We give thanks for those times of comfort from our pains.  We do well, however, to give the same thanks - and perhaps even more - for those times when comfort in our afflictions calls us to the Biblical illumination that empowers better thinking, better believing, and a better realization of our Lord's ability to fill and fulfill us in every contingency.

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
(II Corinthians 1:3-4)

Weekly Memory Verse
   He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:38)

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