All of us, no matter who we are, will regularly seek comfort in our lives. This might be comfort from stresses that are throwing us into chaos. It may be comfort from physical or emotional pain. It might just be comfort that will allow us to get a good night's sleep. We seek comfort. We know that it is important to the balancing of our lives, our emotions, and our aptitude for finishing what has been laid out before us. Comfort. It is one of the greatest pleasures to the human system.
I chose comfort as our word for the week because in this time of difficulty, due to the pandemic, economic uncertainty, supply chain crisis, political crisis, and social unrest, we are all seeking some form of comfort and release from the strongholds of the world around us.
So many of us look for comfort in the most worldly or unholy places. One too many glasses of wine might be your comfort after a hard day. The club might be your solution to comfort when your heart has been so broken you feel like you might never put it back together again. Drugs might be your comfort. Food might be your comfort. Social media certainly walks a fine line between comfort and added stress. Friends can be great avenues of comfort (and healthy ones as well, if they have a firm grasp on the Kingdom perspective). So many of these things can make us feel so good... but that feeling generally only lasts a little while.
Why is that? Why is it that we seek comfort and that comfort can feel really good in the immediate, but it just doesn't last and then sooner rather than later we are looking for renewed comfort once again? I'd venture to say that there are two reasons for this. The first reason why we are in a cycle of comfort and discomfort is because we sadly live in a fallen world and because of this, trouble will always come. We know this from God's Word and we know that there will be an end to this when Christ comes back again; but, until that day comes, we will face troubles here on Earth. The second reason, and the one I really want to focus on, is that we are seeking comfort from illegitimate sources.
All of the places in this world that we turn to for comfort have no authority to give comfort at all. They feel good in the temporary, but they lack the knowledge or skill to solve the pain or disappointment; rather, they simply mask the problem so that we do not concentrate on it any longer. This can't help in the long term, however, because that thing has no authority over the problem at hand; thus it persists. Does ice cream ever really have authority over our heartbreak? Certainly not! Rather, it distracts our minds and fills us with sugar to boost our energy levels until the crash and we find that we are still heartbroken and now regretting our choice of comfort food (SIDE NOTE: Never regret ice cream).
So, if all of our comforters in this world are illegitimate, is there ever anywhere we can find true lasting comfort? Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29) What Jesus tells us in this verse is that He himself can comfort us and give our souls rest. God being the Creator of the universe and the creator of us specifically, knows what we need to create a lasting comfort within us. And His comfort LASTS. If we are with Him, He can give us what we need to heal, to grow, and to change whatever it is that is stopping us from living a full and good life.
The Bible verses I have been sharing on our Facebook and Instagram this week on the subject of comfort were:
"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." – Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NLT)
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love." – Romans 8:38 (NLT)
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort." – 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NLT)
When times are hard, all of us seek out comfort. This might come from material things, people, places, or substances that temporarily relieve us of our physical or emotional pain and stress.These things often do not last however, because they are illegitimate sources of comfort. In God, though, we find true comfort. God, as the Creator of all things, He can be the legitimate source of lasting comfort because he understands what it is that we need in order to come through that pain and stress and eliminate it completely. Jesus said in this world we will always have trouble; but take heart, He has overcome of the world. God is and will always be the true and lasting source of all comfort.