Many of us like the idea of comfort. We use that word to describe all manner of things; beds, recliners, seats in a car, posture when we are at our desk at work, shoes, etc. Comfort matters to us. We will spend all kinds of money getting the comfort level adjusted and just right. It’s why we spend more money on a long flight, or at least try to get airline points and status so we can experience a more comfortable trip (including the lounge at the airport!).
With all that in mind let me ask you, what do you do to comfort yourself? Let me give you some context.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 3-7, the word comfort (at least in the NLT translation, my favorite for reading in the morning with my coffee) is mentioned nine times. Nine times. It almost sounds redundant if you read it out loud. Why? Well, Paul talks about God comforting us, and that when He does, it helps us to comfort others. That sounds great. But then he talks about being “weighed down with troubles”, and then patiently enduring when we suffer.
Wait. I thought this was talking about comfort, not going through trouble and suffering.
If you continue in verses 8-11, He explains his own personal account of God comforting him in a difficult time. Although he doesn’t give specifics (hello unspoken request), he does speak of being “crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure,” even to the point where he thought they could not live through the difficulties.
So, let me ask the question again; what do YOU do to comfort yourself? How do you comfort yourself? Where or what do you turn to? As I was reading this passage last week, God began to reveal to me some of the things I have done to comfort myself, and yes, sometimes I sinned in doing so. These were things that I didn’t talk to anyone about. Most all of those times, it was based on a lie I believed either about myself, my situation, or God’s ability to comfort me. On my last Replenish trip I spoke to the guys about something I call a cycle of sabotage. I won’t go into the full details or teaching here, but sometimes we live parts of our lives replaying a lie from the enemy and our defense can be a way of comforting ourselves. Comfort based around a lie. When we do so, we become the source for our own comfort. The problem is, we were never meant to be our own source – God is the one that wants to be our source, for everything.
If we pick up in verse 9, Paul goes on to say that he expected to die. But they stopped relying on themselves and “learned to rely on God”. Then in verse 10, one verse, we see the word “rescue” three times. “He did rescue us… He will rescue us again… and He will continue to rescue us.” He did. He will. And He will continue. I am fully convinced that we all need to learn to rely on God, and many times to rely on Him to comfort us. We can get in trouble when we try to self-comfort, which is based on a lie anyway.
Let me encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit comfort you today. Let Him be your source and the one that you rely on for all things.