“Comfort is the infusion of eternal perspective into our momentary trials.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 16, 2021
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus… Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 18, NKJV
We live in a world that is desperate for comfort. The reality of sin and human frailty presses in on every side. Communities suffer from economic ruin and so-called natural disaster. Nations continue to wage war, with innocent life lost in the name of peace or in the pursuit of power. Sickness, in an instant, takes those we love most deeply, leaving us hollowed out from the inside and unable to breathe.
The weight of it all is simply too much to bear. It threatens to leave us bent and broken, hearts beating yet not truly alive. However, we must remember, this is not unique to the times in which we find ourselves. This is the reality of the human condition, a truth that our modern comforts can often mask and push to the periphery, yet in one way or another will come rushing back to the forefront of our lived experience.
St. Paul charged the early church with a mission that continues to this day: offer true comfort to one another. When life overwhelms and presses in from every side, in isolation we often rush to fleeting comforts that promise much and never truly deliver. We escape into a screen, bottle, or the embrace of another, hoping it will provide a way of escape, yet in reality is nothing more than a momentary distraction.
Comfort is not an escape from our pain. It is the infusion of eternal perspective into our momentary trials. The comfort we are called to offer one another in love is the hope of the resurrection. We find true solace and healing in the truth that even death cannot defeat or destroy us, for it has been destroyed by our Lord Jesus Christ. We therefore do not grieve as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Similarly, we do not have to resort to quick-fix solutions to our pain and sorrow, solutions that never address the root condition, instead only treating the presenting symptoms.
Seek out the inexhaustible comfort of the risen Lord. Look to his cross and empty tomb for your healing and hope to face the day. And as you see others in your life in great need of comfort, do not simply offer empty words of sympathy or generic platitudes. Comfort them with these words: “ For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Father, thank you that in Christ we have true comfort that heals our deepest wounds and binds us together in your perfect love. Amen.
What fleeting comforts have you turned to recently in your pain or weariness? How can you instead look today to the hope of resurrection life?
Bethany Barnard: Comfort
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