Friday, August 26, 2016

AUGUST 26 "THE GOOD COMFORTER"

One thing that is very interesting about reading through the One Year Bible is coming across days like today. Who could plan this out? Yesterday, in the Old Testament we are reading about "Lousy Comforters" and today in the New Testament we are reading about "Good Comforters". Paul writes that God comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in their troubles. The first problem then of a lousy comforter would be that he or she, is one that has not been comforted by God; therefore he cannot comfort others. The question to ask of course would be, "why hasn't he been comforted by God?". The answer is complex, but a simple answer for sake of time and space, would be that he/she is not able to be comforted by God because they are to distant from God and secondly, because they have structured their life in such a way that often there is not much trouble to be comforted in. Paul writes, "that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us". The Christian that has gone through some suffering is going to be the Christian that is actively pursuing the Will of God for his/her life and taking Godly risks as he goes along that journey. Paul endured much suffering, but the suffering was not brought on by reckless and dare-devil living, the suffering was brought on by pursuing the Will of God for his life and taking Godly risks. You may find this an odd statement, but it is true nonetheless,....not every Christian is pursuing the Will of God for their life. They are content to have good families, be good citizens and be in a good church, nothing more! High and lofty sermons that challenge to lay hold of God and pursue him at all costs will slide off them as easily as water off a ducks back; and sermons on being blessed and having a prosperous life, they will embrace and cherish. It's really a "self serving" Christianity. The good comforter is the disciple that is pursuing God's will at all costs; thence enduring suffering, being comforted by God and then being used to turn around and offer that same comfort to those that are also along the same journey, it's called Pilgrims Progress.. The good comforter is the one that has not had a leisurely life. The good comforter is the one who is in the ebb and flow of the Christian life. Paul also describes the Christians who are "the respected and dignified" Christians and mocks at how interesting it is, that he and his band of men, are being paraded as fools for Christ, while other Christians are so dignified.  The dignified, the structured, safe and secure Christian life will make for a lousy comforter, some day when they give it a try. If you are a good comforter my guess is you are in the right place and are in the right ebb and flow.  It is not to purposely keep ourselves down and low so we can minister to others, but it is to purposely pursue God with all we have and that in itself will bring hard and rough times; that will in turn make us smooth ministers, comforting ministers, because "we have been there" and God comforted us and now we offer that same comfort to another.