“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 KJV. Many believers do not realize that one of the reasons our Heavenly Father allows us to go through difficult places in life is so that we can receive and discover the great blessing of His comfort. But even as we do this, let us understand there is also another purpose involved. This is not all about us. The reality is that our God loves every soul. He sees the brokenness that sin brings and the suffering of humanity and He longs to comfort, help and save each one. And in His infinite wisdom, He has chosen us, as members of the body of Christ, to be His hands that reach out to and comfort hurting souls. So we have His Word here that reminds us, we are to comfort others with the same comfort that we have received from Him. Let us be thankful that our Father desires to comfort us, and to use us to bring His comfort to those in need. And let us show by our lives, the reality of our Father’s comfort.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV. In the story of the prodigal son it is very clear that the son desires to return home because of what he knew about the father. He knew that his father had helped others in their time of need, so he believed he was merciful. And in spite of all his own failings, his believed his father would receive him and comfort him. All of that is a picture of man’s relationship with our Heavenly Father. We can arise from the ruins of our sin stained lives and go the Father because we know He is merciful. We can come to Him for the comfort and healing our souls need because we know He is the God of all comfort. And yet, how many times we still struggle with our many cares and burdens and fail to go to our Father! How often do we suffer with sorrow and pain, and never seek our Father, Who is waiting to comfort us. If we only knew that He loves to show mercy and to comfort His children! For many earthly fathers it is awkward and difficult to give comfort. But we have a perfect Father in Heaven Who longs to comfort His children. In Him we will find all the comfort we need.
“And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Luke 15:21 KJV. One of the things often overlooked in the story of the prodigal son is, his brokenness and humble spirit when he returned to his father. The very thing that caused him to go back to his father was his realization that for all his efforts to make it on his own, he still needed his father. Spiritually this is one of the great failures of modern religion. Far too often, souls are instructed merely to believe. Many churches today actually discourage the Biblical truths of repentance, brokenness and humility. But God help us to realize, there is no way to the Heavenly Father, except through humility! Apart from true humility we would never see our need of a Saviour! We would never plead the merits of His atoning blood! But when, by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, we truly recognize our condition, then we will be humbled! Then we will say with the prodigal, “I am not worthy to be Your child, I’m not worthy of the least of Your mercies”. May God help us in this shallow religious generation to humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father. His arms are always open to the humble, but He will resist the proud.
“I will arise and go to my father…”Luke 15:18 KJV. These were the words of the prodigal son when he finally realized his desperate condition and great need. He knew that the answer for all of his needs was at his father’s house. As believers we should pray that lost souls would do the same. We should ask God to help them to see that their only hope, and their greatest need is, to go to the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. But may we also realize that this is our constant need! Every day we wake up this should be our attitude and desire, “I will arise and go to my Heavenly Father”! Every time we are down in the valley or some low place in our lives, this should be our determination, “I will arise and go to my Father”. Every time we face temptation this should be our first thought, “I will go to my Father”. In all those times that we don’t know what to do and we are seeking direction this should be our first step, “I will arise and go to my Father”. How thankful we should be that we have a good, merciful and loving Heavenly Father Who is always ready to receive us with open arms.
“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him. But it shall not be well with the wicked…” Ecclesiastes 8:12 -13 KJV. Most people in this world assume that because they are not suffering or under obvious judgment, that God has not taken notice of them. Even religious people who continue in their sins, imagine that they are going to get by. But God’s Word makes very clear that no sinner is going to get by. It is not going to be well with those who practice wickedness. But for God’s children, for those who fear and reverence Him, we have this blessed promise, that it will be well! Even though our bodies may grow weak and ‘all that live Godly will suffer persecution’, yet we can proclaim with the songwriter, “It is well with my soul!” What a joy it is to know, that all things are well between my soul and the Saviour! Let this be our consolation when we face the struggles of this life, “It is well, it is well with my soul”.
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV. There are many people who mistakenly think that God doesn’t take notice of the things happening in this world. They question how God could allow these evil things and not bring judgment upon them. But may we as God’s children realize that nothing has escaped God’s all-seeing eyes. The fact that He does not judge immediately, as men deserve, is more evidence of His patience and long suffering! Thank God, He is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance. Each of us can be thankful that we did not receive the judgment that we deserved. Even when it seems that evil people are getting by, we can be certain that God is a just God and there will come a time of reckoning and judgment. As one writer said, “The wheels of God grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine”. So let us have the faith to know, that God has not forgotten! He is still a just and holy God. And let us pray that His mercy will continue upon this wayward generation.
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV. What profound words these are, ‘God is faithful!’ Certainly every child of God should rejoice that we experience His great faithfulness each day of our lives. But let’s notice here, what Paul is specifically thankful for. He is thanking God the He has been faithful to call us to personal spiritual fellowship. Thank God we were not called to religion or superficial belief as so many settle for today. In His faithfulness, God called us to personal fellowship with His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He called us to fellowship because nothing else could prepare us for eternal life with Him. He called us to fellowship because it was His desire and our greatest need! May we realize that true Christianity is not a system of beliefs. Rather it is a miraculous work of God in the soul of man, to bring us into personal, daily relationship with Jesus. Thank God it brings such a change in our hearts that we can no longer be satisfied without Jesus. He becomes our Pearl of great price! He is our Satisfying Portion! May we never accept the false idea that we can be out of fellowship and still be right with God. We were called by God Himself to daily fellowship with Jesus.
“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful…” Luke 10:41-42 KJV. Martha was upset because she was cooking and serving while her sister Mary sat at Jesus feet listening to His wonderful words of life. While it’s true that those domestic tasks were needful and important things, He was expressing to her that there is one thing more important and of utmost need. And that ‘one thing’ is always time with Jesus! We should understand, that of all the needful things for us to do each day, there is nothing so important, nothing so needful for our eternal souls as taking time with Jesus. He longs for our fellowship and knows that our lives cannot be complete, we cannot be prepared for the day, without personal time with Him. It is sad that so many people in religion regard this as unnecessary. They have no time for Jesus other than a few minutes on Sunday morning. But that is one of the differences between religion and true salvation. Salvation brings us to a personal relationship where we recognize our need for daily fellowship with Jesus. And it changes our hearts to where we desire to spend time with Him.
“Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before Me? because he humbleth himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days…” 1 Kings 21:29 KJV. Ahab had been one of the most wicked kings in Israel’s history. But there came a time in his life when this proud, idolatrous king finally humbled himself before God. And when he did, God had mercy on him. One of the most tragic things about so much of modern religion is that people are offered religion that does not require humility. They can ‘believe’ a few things and get a suave on their conscience even while they are filled with pride. They are not humbled by their sin against God nor the offer of His grace and mercy to them. Even the thought of suffering eternally does not humble them because in their pride they imagine that they are too good to deserve that. But God’s Word is very clear that God will only look to the broken and contrite heart. Apart from true humility we have absolutely no hope. And today, our only hope for revival and spiritual awakening begins with humility. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us “If My people will humble themselves…” Let us pray that souls will get away from the pride of man’s religion and humble themselves before God before it is eternally too late. Humble thyself to walk with God.
“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28 KJV. The idolatrous nations who came against Israel always had ‘gods’ for specific places and situations. At this time they believed Israel’s God was like theirs in this regard. They thought His power was limited to the hills. But soon they discovered that He is also the God of the valleys! Many today, even professing believers, think similar things. They believe God is a ‘fair weather’ God. That it’s fine to trust Him when things are good but when challenges come they rely on themselves. But may we realize that our God is the only True and Living God and there is none like Him! He is the God of the good times and the bad. He is God when we’re on the sunlit mountain and when we pass through the dark valley. How thankful that we have an all time, everywhere God! He’s not just our God on Sunday or at church. He is God all the time in everything we ever face. What a wonderful God He is!