Monday, July 22, 2013

Five Steps to Experiencing the Comfort of God

Are you looking for comfort?

Here are 5 steps to experiencing the comfort of God.

Step One: Discover yourself in need of God’s comfort.
“The LORD shall comfort . . . all her waste places;
and he will make her wilderness like Eden,
and her desert like the garden of the LORD.” (Isaiah 51:3)

Experiencing God’s comfort starts with discomfort.

We live in a society that avoids discomfort like the plague – pills and pillows, Starbucks and spas.  We search for comfort, as if discomfort is the plague that ends all plagues. 

No matter how much we try to avoid it, discomfort is a part of life, and life will have its bumps along the way.

But without life’s uncomfortable bumps, we would never find ourselves in need of God’s comfort. We would never know the joy of our Heavenly Father coming to our side to soothe. We would never need His comfort, and, likewise, would never experience it.

If you discover yourself in need of comfort, you are on your first step to experiencing the comfort of God.

Step Two: Don’t look for comfort anywhere else.
He will “comfort me on every side.” (Psalm 71:21)

Look for comfort only in the Lord.

Looking for comfort somewhere else is the belief that my “every side” is too small for Him to care about; or my “every side” is too big to find comfort.

Searching somewhere else is the notion that God is too big to care; or that He’s too small to comfort.

If you've discovered yourself in need of comfort, don’t look for comfort anywhere but in the One who is called, “the God of ALL comfort.” (2 Cor. 1:3)

Step Three: Believe God wants to comfort you.
“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

We’re told He comforts us like a mother (Isaiah 66:13) who holds her crying baby close, wiping the tears and assuring her baby that she is near and all will be okay.

God delights in His children.

He is not delighted in allowing grief any longer than is necessary. 

As a mother who hears her crying baby and will drop everything to soothe, He comes to comfort us in our discomfort.

Jesus promised His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless.” 

And He didn’t.

He came in the indwelling person of His Spirit, who is called “the Comforter.”

If you are in need of comfort and you’re looking only to Him, believe that He wants to comfort you.

Step Four: Listen for comfort in the words God says to you.
“We, through . . . comfort of the Scriptures . . . have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Never underestimate the comforting power of the living Word.

Choose a chapter or verse to mull over every week.

Memorize it. Write it on a card. At any moment, when your mind is free to contemplate whatever it chooses, call to mind that Scripture.

Dwell on it.
Pray the words back to the God of all comfort.
Praise Him for the comforting truth.
Hope in the words.
. . . and be comforted.

Step Five: Be comforted.
“Be of good comfort.” (Matthew 9:22)

With such promise of comfort and such a comforting God as we have, Hannah Whitall Smith was correct when she said:
“Never, never ought we for a single minute to be without comfort;
never for a single minute ought we to be uncomfortable.”
(The God of All Comfort, p. 25)

This is His desire for you . . . Be of good comfort.

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