Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

God of All Comfort

Today my best wasn’t very good and yesterday wasn’t much better. I seem to come to the end of myself more quickly. I get to the point where I say “Lord, this is enough, this is too much!” I’m done. I’m undone. I’m tired and have nothing left. I get that look, a side glance. The one saying “You’re doing it wrong” and the other saying “Quit trying to show off”. I forge ahead. When things get hard I move. It’s like I’m on auto-pilot, doesn’t take much effort, I just do it. And the results of me trying to do it myself, in my own strength, disappointment.

These last few months have been marked and marred by disappointment. There have been many good things too. Things that have made the disappointment more tolerable, or at least distracted from it, even for just a few moments. Overall though, it has been one disappointment after another. Ranging from people’s poor choices concerning themselves, to people’s poor choices concerning me or my family. There have been lines drawn and boundaries crossed. There have been things I hoped for that didn’t happen. There has been selfishness as the basis of many decisions, and my own selfishness, wanting things the right way, my way.

I could have done things differently or better, and I didn’t. I was doing my best, and my best wasn’t good enough. Should I conclude that other people are also doing their best? Do I give myself the benefit of the doubt and not extend that same grace to others? Probably. And yet knowing all of this, does not make the disappointment any less.

I’ve been through seasons like this before. Maybe you have too. When you want to be thankful, but you have a hard time finding things to be thankful for. When you want to be positive, upbeat, and not grumbling or complaining, but with every attempt to turn your attitude around it seems like another negative thing knocks you down. These are the times when it’s hard to remember. To remember who God is and the promises he’s made. To remember who I am in relation to God and what that means. During these times I need daily, sometimes hourly reminders of my good God.

I need the Lord, I’m reminded. He comes to mind frequently in these whirlwinds, but I have to slow down, stop, and remember (be reminded). Oh yes, I can’t do it on my own. How quickly I forget. I really never could. And I as a matter of fact, I don’t want to. But I forget that too. Oh yes, I need the Lord, in a desperate way.

Count it all joy…

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

I opened my Bible and this is what I read:

“The God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God  and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted , it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-11

God has recently comforted in my in 3 ways:

  1. Through his Word– Reminding, renewing my mind through learning, and showing me more of himself; seeing more of his Glory. (Romans 12:2, Romans 15:4, Hebrews 1:3)
  2. Through himself– Jesus intercedes for me, and helps me through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:34, John 14:26)
  3. Through others–  Through their presence, words in due season, and encouragement and prayer; doing for me what I could not do for myself. (John 15:13, Hebrews 10:24-25)

It’s so much easier to look back and see where God has met all of your needs (not always in the way we think they should be met), but in the midst of it it’s hard to see. It’s hard to feel the right things and act the right way. But God does not depend on my feelings or my actions; I depend on him. These times and seasons are grand reminders of who I am to put my trust in. He who will never disappoint or cross boundaries, who will not act out of selfishness, or deceit.

My God who keeps all of his promises and does what he says he’s going to do. 

My God of ALL comfort.

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

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