Tuesday, May 16, 2017

“Perfect Comfort. Growing Confidence”

"Perfect Comfort.  Growing Confidence"     
   Can God comfort us in all difficulty, trial, pain, and loss?  Absolutely.

   "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" (II Corinthians 1:3-4).

   Do we believe He can comfort us in "any trouble?"  Absolu… well actually, our confidence may not be as sure.

   "Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD?   Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1).

   As the father of a demon possessed child one said to the Lord Jesus Christ, "I believe!  Help Thou mine unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).  Few more humble and honest words have ever been uttered.  Moreover, we all share the experience of confidence existing in the very midst of consternation.  The same Psalmist who wondered why God stood so far away in difficulty also proclaimed the Lord to be "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  Thus, while our Heavenly Father's ability to comfort eternally abides in the perfection of wisdom, ability, and inclination, we presently require growth in our knowledge, understanding, and experience that leads to faith.  "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18).

   We do well to remember the days of old when pain wracked heart or body.  Even more, we do well to recall God's comfort in those times when we may have wondered how we would make it through the trial.  We learned something then that will greatly help us today or tomorrow if trouble again finds its way to our doorstep.  "Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalm 59:16).  We may also learn something today even if relative calm graces our present experience.  "This is my comfort in my affliction, for Thy Word hath quickened me" (Psalm 119:50).  One of the reasons we keep our hearts and minds near to Scripture involves God's desire to comfort us, and our great need for His balm of assurance.  The Bible we read today prepares us for the confidence we will embrace when trouble comes.  In the pages of God's Word, we increasingly discover His ability to comfort us in any trouble, and we increasingly discover that through Christ, we can trust our Heavenly Father for His comfort.  "I will look unto the Lord" declared the prophet who did not possess the completed text of Scripture (Micah 7:7).  How much more are we who have the Bible blessed to "lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Psalm 121:1).

   Trouble is coming.  It is always coming in this present life.  Far more importantly, God is aware of the challenges that will face us.  He will be waiting for us when we arrive at the venues of difficulty for the purpose of leading us through our trials, and then comforting us during and after them.  This is Truth, perfect Truth that cannot fail to be true.  We must avail ourselves of the gifts that prepare us for growing awareness and response to such perfection.  The Bible we read today, or the prayers prayed, or the fellowship of other believers, or the present experience of God's assurance all serve to ready our hearts to respond to "the God of all comfort" when trouble comes (II Corinthians 1:3).  

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Thy comforts delight my soul."
(Psalm 94:19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
(II Timothy 2:23)

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