"Comfort, According To Thy Word"
Regardless of how far we grow in our walk with the Lord, sorrow will always feel like sorrow. No less than the Lord Jesus Christ confirms this reality of our present earthly existence.
"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:36-38).
The Apostle Paul echoes the truth we consider, describing the Christian's experience of being "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10). Spiritual maturity does not preclude emotional distress. It does, however, call us to respond in a manner of faith and faithfulness rather than being overwhelmed. What shall we do when life hurts us by loss, pain, difficulty, and even tragedy? Obviously, we bring our heavy heart to the Lord in the confidence He can and will comfort us. The Psalmist helps us here.
"Let, I pray thee, Thy merciful kindness be for My comfort, according to Thy Word unto thy servant" (Psalm 119:76).
Note the request for comfort, but consider also the context in which God's balm provides help: "according to Thy Word." Certainly there may be times our Heavenly Father applies comfort simply as an answer to prayer. However, many and perhaps most bestowals of such grace will result from His application of Scripture to our hearts and minds. We may remember passages, or we may open our Bibles to find our Lord awaiting us as we avail ourselves of Truth that pointedly applies to the present distress. Indeed, lingering sorrow, especially in the sense of our being controlled by it, may be the result of failure to seek God "according to Thy Word." Again, the Psalmist illuminates, "This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy Word hath quickened (enlivened) me" (Psalm 119:50).
David declared his Lord to be "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). The Spirit of God works in us to remind us of such grace, and to bring to our remembrance the countless assurances of the Word He inspired. Indeed, a hurting heart best finds God's comfort in an open Bible. Therein, our Lord's promises to assure us echo Paul's affirmation that we can know joy in the very midst of sorrow. Only the Spirit and the Word can lead us there, to the overcoming wonder of God's gracious comfort in Christ.
"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(s)
"Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(John 15:5; Philippians 4:13)