“To comfort like Christ can bring relief, like a daughter making her aging dad laugh or a son serving his needy mom.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 3, 2023
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26, KJV
Facing death, Jesus comforted His friends by promising them the gift of the Comforter…the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father in Jesus’ name to teach, remind, help, advocate, convict, guide, reveal, and yes…to comfort. Comfort from the Comforter can take a variety of forms, but peace is certainly one soothing quality. Remember the intimate encounter of Jesus, after just rising from the dead, finds His disciples hiding in a home…when the Lord’s breath of the Spirit covers them with peace. In the presence of Jesus is a sweet peace sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Sorrow and fear are masked joys waiting to be converted by the loving, safe space of the God of all comfort. Like Job’s friends, sometimes our friends either don’t understand or do not have the spiritual tools to tend to our hurting hearts…only the consolation of Christ can comfort us. So, be still. Be known by the Spirit, and He will soothe your soul. When you find yourself weary, you can rest in the presence of the One who is always attentive to your needs, wants, and hurts. Intimacy has its interludes of uncertainty, so trust and linger in the arms of love as the Holy Spirit’s hugs are healing. Comfort is the Spirit’s role to heal and restore broken relationships.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NKJV).
Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has emissaries who have the skin of Jesus to give the generous gift of comfort to those who are hurting. Not a Bible thumper with all the answers or a trial lawyer pointing out all of the unwise actions and contradictions, but instead, a loving friend who will sit in your stuff with you…messy as it might be. Being present, offering a tender touch or life-giving words as the Spirit leads. To comfort like Christ can bring relief, like a daughter making her aging dad laugh or a son serving his mom, as she often did for him with motherly care. The Helper initiates helpful comfort that begins to heal and builds bridges to disconnected hearts. Strength for life’s journey is the fruit of a weary/confused life that finds comfort in love.
The willingness to receive comfort is the posture of a humble heart. Pride will double down on self-reliance and miss the healing effect of leaning in for help, while shame feeds self-condemnation to feel unworthy of another’s love and attention. Yet, in your moments of hurt, fear, and anger are the Lord’s invitation for you to receive the blessedness of being broken. Out of the hot crucible of conflict is the cool water of comfort. Like a flowing robust river overcomes obstacles to bring life-giving refreshment in its wake, so comfort from the Comforter and other Christ followers overflows your obstacles of pride and shame to bring forgiveness and healing. Your loving Father sends you His: Helper, Teacher, Advocate, Comforter. Receive His peace.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NLJV).
Collect on the Holy Spirit from The 1662 Book of Common Prayer (IE), p. 158.: “God, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit. Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort, through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
How is God comforting you so you might be a comforter to another?
We The Kingdom: Jesus Does
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