GOD'S PROMISE ON COMFORT
4 Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.”
5 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. 6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. Psalm 118:4-7
As we walk through today's promise from God is it the one that many of us desire on such a regular basis. We are definitely all crying out for the mercy and comfort from God. We are seeking a way to find the arms of God that can hold us and carry us through the toughest times of our journey. I know that we have all desired to feel the embrace of God as we go through these struggles, and God continues to provide people to step in and share the comfort that we need. I know that in my life I have been both on the receiving and giving end of comfort. I have been there.... not saying a word, but just holding someone as their family member has died or when they have received some very painful news. I know that there are people who have surrounded my family and picked us up and taken care of our needs when I was not the pastor but the son to a dying family member or in the midst of other losses. Through the power of God's love and grace we are able to receive comfort for healing vicariously through the hands and feet of God.
So today as we look at this promise from God to find comfort, I have to be honest and say that God is not going to advert us from experiencing the loss or the pain. God is not going to wipe our memories or divert our path, but in the midst of the struggles, God is there to
provide strength. Many times we think that God is going to take us out of the situation, but it is only by walking through the situation that our faith and trust is built stronger in God. Sometimes it does take us to hit the bottom before we realize what we need to be rebuilt. Sometimes the scars remind us of the battle and the fortitude that came from God alone. In the midst of the moment, we are ready for a solution or an exit, but when we look back, we are then able to see how God was walking with us every step of the way. We are able to look back and see the courage that it took to walk into the situation and the strength that was revealed through the power of God. All throughout the Scriptures, we are able to see God's promise of comfort revealed to His creation. From the beginning of the day as God said let there be light, to the end of the day where we have watched God's hands mold and refine us and carry us through the day. God's comfort is all around us. We just have to be willing to step back and recognize the powerful moments of comfort and peace laid before us, or the hand that has been extended to help guide us along the way.
As we look at our scripture from the Psalms today, we are literally taken to the very heart or center of the scriptures. The words helps us to see even at the center of God's Word there is comfort and power. The Psalmist reminds us that whatever the situation that may arise, we can draw comfort that God is with us. No matter how dire the situation, we have the assurance that God continues to walk by our side and provide the strength we need in His Holy Word. Once again we see this word "fear" and every time I see this word in Scripture, it makes me take a second and pause. It allows me the opportunity to remind myself that it is not about being scared or terrified, but that we live in awe and assurance of God. When the writer states, "Let those who fear the Lord say: 'His love endures forever.'” We are reminded that God's love will overcome the pain and the suffering found in this world. We are assured that God loves us so much to walk into our situations. God sent Jesus to die so that we can have the opportunity for eternal life and not to suffer the wages of our debt of death from our sins. Today's words helps us to draw comfort and reassurance that in our most difficult times we turn and rely on God to give us strength, peace and comfort to endure.
So today I hope and pray that you can find comfort in these words. I hope and pray that you are able to truly recognize the fact that in our darkest times, the Creator of ALL things is walking by your side. I pray that even when things seem unclear, God is always going to place people in your life to help us make it through the days we question and cannot
comprehend. Everyone in the world has lost someone or something and asked God why. I know that in the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to run through the roller-coaster of emotions that brought both life and death, joy and sorrow, confusion and certainty. The only way that I was truly able to make it through those days was the power of God's comfort in my life. From family, friends, and even strangers that have no idea what I was going through, God placed them in my path and along my journey to remind me that everything was going to be ok. I was reminded that in the midst of hurt I would find comfort. When Jesus spoke to the people in His sermon on the mount, I am reminded of the be attitudes today. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted." I have experienced those words in their fullness throughout my life, and I pray that you will also receive comfort from the arms of the ONE who loved us so much that He surrendered His greatest gift so we could see love in flesh. Take comfort in His Word... God is with us. AMEN.