Friday, January 18, 2008

Taking Comfort in being Uncomfortable, Part III

Thanks for helping me think through the idea of being comfortable... I am really trying to work through this concept... Would love to hear your thought.

Before we talk about comfort in the Bible, we should first ask the question, “Why is perseverance important?” Perseverance enables us to do tomorrow what we can’t do today. And if we were created, according to Ephesians 2:10 to do works that God has prepared, than, the reason for perseverance is to enable us to what God has prepared for us to do. God gives you trials to prepare you for what He has in store for you. If we take the marathon example, with discipline and training, you can run more next month than you run now. God has deeper, harder, and more difficult things to do through you, but they are things that you will not be able to do when the time comes unless you have perseverance. And trials prepare you for those works by developing in you the faith to trust God in difficult times. Hence, we become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Hard times don’t stress us out, hard people don’t send us through the roof and situations have space to be God workable. So, where is the comfort of the Bible come in?
Just there. Listen to these verses: 2 Cor. 1:2-12 [3] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, [4] 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. [5] For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. [6] 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. [7] 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. [8] 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. [9] 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.

God comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comforts He has given us. But, why do we need comfort? Because life is hard. To be used by God is by definition getting used to an uncomfortable life. But, in those uncomfortable moments, you are assured of God’s grace, his goodness, his sovereignty and his joy. We can be thankful. Thankfulness is our act of faith. Allow the comfort you experience to be His comfort and you will be a blessing to others. Don’t try to get out from your trial, don’t shrink back, and certainly don’t try to pacify the hurt or discouragement or pain with a remedy of the world. Go to Jesus, and find your comfort in Him alone. He will turn your despair into repair and make you the man or woman that He (and you) so want to be. Comfort will be spiritual and eternal that lasts beyond you, instead of the temporal one that stops with you.

1 comment:

Campbell Family said...

God does provide comfort and very often through others that have gone through the same pain and suffering we find ourselves in. It is in those times we have an opportunity to be vulnerable enough to really realize our need for God and the body of Christ.
I would recommend the book 'Gift of Pain' by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey.