The God Who Comforts….
Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me To bring good news to the poor, To heal the broken-hearted, To announce release to captives And freedom to those in prison. 2 He has sent me to proclaim That the time has come When the LORD will save his people And defeat their enemies. He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, Isaiah 61:1-2 (TEV)
“You shall have no other gods.” 1 That is, you shall regard me alone as your God. What does this mean, and how is it to be understood? What is to have a god? What is God? 2 Answer: A god is that to which we look for all good and in which we find refuge in every time of need. To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe him with our whole heart. As I have often said, the trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol. 3 If your faith and trust are right, then your God is the true God. On the other hand, if your trust is false and wrong, then you have not the true God. For these two belong together, faith and God. That to which your heart clings and entrusts itself is, I say, really your God. (1)
It is for most men, one of the hardest images of God to grasp onto, because our pride gets so in the way. We want to be the ones who endure, the ones whom secure the victory, the ones who at the end of the day, soaked in sweat and blood, can rejoice that we are alive. The last thing we want to admit – we need this God, because He does the exact thing we don’t want to admit that we need.
The God who comforts, the God who consoles. The God who is so adept at comforting us, that the prophets don’t describe Him just as a father-figure, but use the illustration of a mother comforting her infant. But throughout the Old Testament, and especially in the major prophets, this is a strong picture of God – the one who comforts and strengthens (a number of times strengthens replaces the same word for comfort..and the word picture is a great sigh of relief)
It’s knowing we can’t go on anymore, we can’t take another step, or we feel like we can breathe. Then, we realize His presence, and the breathe is one of relaxation, as we realize we can rest in His presence. All is well.. or so our hearts know, even as our minds still anxiously struggle with the implications of something. We breathe deeply of the Spirit, we know we’ve found, as Luther says – refuge, sanctuary.
Our God has once again proven Himself to be God. He shows us we can trust in Him, even when we can’t believe the wars that surround us. Even though we struggle with what seems to be the world, or our nation, or our church, going to pieces.
A God of comfort – one who brings us to a place of peace, a place of nourishment, a place of blessing, as He comforts us, as He consoles us… as He reminds us that He is God.
Lord have mercy on us all, and help us to find comfort in that mercy… even us guys…
(1) The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 1959 (T. G. Tappert, Ed.) (365). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.