Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 16, 2019
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1 (NRSV)
Comfort is something God’s people long for throughout the entire Bible. From a people in slavery, to wandering in the wilderness, to exile in Babylon, for their entire history they knew the world was not how it was meant to be and longed for it to be made whole, to enter into the rest and peace of God. Yet time and time again, they thought they would find comfort, only to be afflicted yet again.
Perhaps you find yourself in a similar season of life? You feel like more often than not you take one step forward, two steps back, and as a result you are left feeling beaten down, weary, and confused. As such, you spend your time looking for comfort and consolation anywhere you can find it. If this resonates with you today, be aware of the great risk that comes with this desperate search for comfort. When you and I are in places of exhaustion, depression, or confusion, we are greatly tempted to pursue things that are not God’s best for us.
The more desperate we feel, the more desperately we grasp for something to make us feel good! For example, psychologists often use the acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, and tired). If you find yourself in one or a combination of these places, you are far more likely to aggressively seek out a source of comfort, even if that comfort is fleeting and empty.
Any comfort other than the comfort of Christ will leave us hollow and confused. And eventually, God in his kindness allows us to see these false comforts for what they truly are: substitutes. You may land the promotion at work, lose the weight, date the perfect person, and get your child into the best school in town, yet still find yourself afflicted and sorrowful. Why? Because each of these and countless more over promise and under deliver on their claims to comfort.
“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”( Isaiah 40:31).
The call on our lives is to learn to patiently wait and trust in the comfort that only the Lord can bring. We must wait on God to act, believing that he is bigger than our circumstances and even able to act outside of our expectations and categories! Case in point: no one saw Jesus coming! Never would someone have been able to guess that this was the path of comfort God’s people so desperately longed for and needed. Yet what we celebrate in Easter is that, in Jesus, God did something so unprecedented and cosmic that the world has never recovered from it! The resurrection of Jesus recalibrates our definition of “possibility” and “comfort”, freeing us to hope again and believe again in seemingly impossible dreams.
Father, thank you that you comfort your people and promise to lead us into your Kingdom, where every tear is dried and wound is healed, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.
What false comforts do you consistently turn to in times of need?
Exodus 15:2; Psalm 46:1-3; Philippians 4:6
Any comfort other than the comfort of Christ and His followers will leave us hollow and confused. #wisdomhunters #truecomfort
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