Wednesday, May 6th
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:1-3
It was said previously that God is reclaiming and restoring his creation little by little and that the Kingdom of Heaven describes any of God's creation that is caught up in the process of being made like heaven again. There is one aspect of life where the impact of heaven is expecially needed and that is in the pain, suffering, and sorrow we experience because of the trouble we go through while living in this fallen world. While the earthly realm brings trouble, the kingdom of heaven brings comfort.
God really cares about what people go through and he delights to bring his comfort to them. God often uses our pain, suffering, and sorrow to bring us to himself for eternal salvation. He then becomes an ongoing source for comfort and strength for us in the midst of the troubles we experience. Through our consistent dependence on God for comfort and strength when we experience troubles, we become ones who advance the Kingdom of Heaven as God uses us to comfort others and to point them to himself, the God of all comfort. This process of the Kingdom of Heaven is described beautifully in the 2 Corinthians passage above. The Isaiah passage above speaks of great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. What a great image to use for those who have experienced the impact of heaven on their pain, suffering, and sorrow to the extent that they are able to glorify God as his agents of Divine comfort.
Lord, I confess that I often forget the big picture of what you are doing in this world. Forgive me for being so caught up in my own troubles that they become more real to me than you. Help me to be both a recipient and agent of Divine comfort. Help me to desire you first and foremost and then the comfort you can bring to me. Grant me a clear and lasting vision for how you will use me to comfort others and advance your kingdom purposes.
Posted on Wed, May 6, 2015
by Alan Porter