Summary: God is not only our Comforter, but from time to time He is our discomforter. We need to take a bold step of faith and move out of our comfort zones.
Be Bold Take a Step of Faith
This morning we are looking at two Biblical examples of individuals that moved beyond their comfort zones. Mary the Mother of Jesus by faith was willing to accept God’s plan for her life and move beyond her comfort zone and waited patiently for God to go before her.
Peter, first class fisherman, followed Jesus and moved beyond his comfort zone and stepped out of a boat onto a tumultuous sea.
Luke gives the account of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel sent from God. Gabriel gave Mary the promise from God that she would become pregnant as a virgin and have a child – Jesus – the Messiah – the Son of the Most High who’s Kingdom would never end.
Mary responded, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” The angel told her that the baby would be conceived of the Holy Spirit and her baby would be the Son of God. The angel assured her, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” Mary was willing to move beyond her comfort zone and wait on the Lord.
From the commitment of Mary we learn the lesson that God is often our discomforter.
I. God is Your Discomforter
Mary’s life was fairly routine and normal until an angel of the Lord showed up. Mary was looking forward to a normal wedding and starting a family after marriage.
Having God’s child out of wedlock brought on many challenges she and Joseph otherwise would not have faced. They received ridicule from family and friends and were forced to flee to Egypt as fugitives.
From the very beginning the prophet Simeon foretold that she would not enjoy a peaceable life of comfort. When Mary and Joseph took Jesus into the temple on the eight day after his birth Simeon the prophet took the child in his arms and said:
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” During their life both Jesus and Mary experienced deep anguish and suffering.
Following the Lord May bring both blessing and pain.
When Mary responded in obedience to God’s will she did experience many blessings, but she also experienced pain. Mary experienced blessings when she witnessed her son provide the fresh wine for the wedding feast. She was blessed by his help in the family business for 30 years. Then she witnessed his public ministry and was blessed by all his amazing miracles of healing and his words spoken with authority.
At the crucifixion scene we find Mary standing near the foot of the cross. John 19:25-27 “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple who he loved (Apostle John) standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman here is you son.’ And to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
The first words of Jesus from the cross were addressed to his mother. At the crucifixion of Jesus there were precious few to give their support. Those present included the Apostle John and four women.
As Jesus was being crucified, Mary had the painful experience of watching her son hang and ultimately die on the cross. Normally parents die before their children. Mary gave birth to Jesus whom she thought was going to be the Savior of the world. But her dreams were shattered that day at the cross.
God May Use Times of Crisis to Motivate you to move out of your comfort zone.
We all want God to give us comfort but from time to time God calls us to follow Him and in following Him we go through times of crisis and discomfort.
Have you noticed in your Christian life that when you are getting comfortable in your work and in your family that events and circumstances come along to push you out of your comfort zone?
I read about three frogs hopping along a road. One frog wasn’t looking and jumped into a big muddy rut in the road. He got stuck and couldn’t move. He told the other two frogs to go ahead and he would rest for awhile in the rut. The two frogs hopped on ahead and in a few minutes they heard, kaathump, kaathump, kaathump, and the stuck frog was not longer in a rut as he leaps forged past them.
They said, “we through you were stuck in that deep rut.” “Yes I was, but I saw this big Mac Truck coming toward me.”