I appreciate so much this quote by John Eldredge, “I’ve been so keenly aware how easy it is when you are hurting to make agreements. This is the time you’ve really got to watch over your heart (Prov 4:23). [It is] too easy to go from the immediate pain, which is real, to something sweeping like, ‘Life is just loss.’ Or, ‘I hate change.’ Or, ‘What is there to look forward to now?’ Pain can so quickly open the door to other things you don’t want to let in – like despair, or hopelessness, or resignation. And what has been most noticeable is that we actually have a choice whether we will let Jesus comfort us. Pain can feel so ‘true,’ so ‘real,’ that we actually push the comfort of God away because we feel we need to stay in it to honor it, or because it might be the most we’ve felt anything in a long time, or because those subtle agreements have begun to creep in and we [keep] giving place to pain as what is most true about life. And I don’t want to do that. You don’t want to do that.”
Notice what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
Over the past year I have become acutely aware of the hurt and struggle that so many people are going through. It seems like now more than ever that more and more Christ-followers are on some kind of ant-depressant in order to cope with life. I know that medication has its place, and I am thankful for advancements in medicine, but I am wondering if in our pain we have been guilty of pushing the comfort of Jesus aside. According to Paul we serve the God of ALL comfort. That means that he is both eager and able to comfort us when we need it. Maybe the problem is we don’t know how to accept his comfort. Starting on Sunday, March 10 we will begin a series of messages entitle “The God of All Comfort.” If you have been struggling to find rest for your soul I challenge you to attend or listen to these messages at www.bluelakecommunitychurch.com.