Summary: How do you confort the comfortable.
No Pain, No Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
It is easy to praise Jesus and quote Hebrews 13:8 when everything is going well, but when things look like they are have gone to the Hell can you still quote this rejoicing? Was He good to you better than you deserved before the storm? Then nothing has changed in the storm. He is still good. He still loves you because He is not changed by the storm, but by the grace of God, the storm should change you.
It should make you run to Him not from Him. You may not understand much about your storm, but He understands it all. He promised peace, not as the world gives peace. The world gives peace when there is no storm. The world seeks to avoid storms, but storms in a sin sick and condemned world are going to come no matter who you are or what you do.
Be careful about listening to people who tell you that being a Christian means a life of prosperity and health. How can you comfort others if you have had no pain? If Christians never had any troubles like sickness, poverty or death everyone would be swarming into church to be Christians. Hence the “success” of prosperity preachers. God does not spare us from all trouble because people need to see how we go through the storm with Him. Indeed, how can you receive comfort when you are comfortable?
All but one of the Apostles were executed and he was exiled. The governor asks Polycarp, a disciple of John, to deny Christ and promises that if he will, his life will be spared, but the faithful bishop answers, “Fourscore and six years have I served him, and he has never done me injury; how then can I now blaspheme my King and savior?” Persecution of Christians has been from the beginning and Paul said that all who live godly WILL suffer persecution. Not seeing that many pastors are preaching that.
John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
He promises His peace. His peace comes when you are sucked up in a tornado and spun around at a hundred miles an hour. When you look out of the tornado and see nothing but chaos, disaster and loss all around then peace comes to you from Him.
A missionary labored in a tribe for a long time with no interest in the Gospel or so it seemed. His wife contracted Black Water Fever and bled to death through her kidneys. They buried her in a hollow log praising God for her life at the grave site and praising Him is song. That night there was a cough at his door for they do not knock as we do. The man came and quickly received Christ. All night long it was cough after cough and salvation after salvation. At sunrise the Chief of the tribe came in and was saved. The shocked missionary asked why the sudden change of heart. The Chief replied, “We knew Jesus was good for living, but now we know He is good for dying.” Sometimes your storm is how others find the One who can calm theirs.
If you really know who God is, and that He is immutable, then you know that when all is unbalanced in your life He is stable. When you are surrounded by hate, you are in the middle of His love. When your life looks like the aftermath of a nuclear strike, He already sees your life restored and renewed. He IS the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
I wish to apply this verse.
Jesus Christ, the same before my storm, in my storm and after my storm.
When my son died in October that was a huge unexpected storm in my life. It was as if a tornado dropped out of the sky and turned my life into a scene of disaster. Watching my wife fall to the floor in tears was harder than the actual news of his death. Seeing how this is affecting her, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter is more difficult to cope with then his death.
God has given me great peace about my son. Does his death stink? Yes! Do I hate it? Yes! Having lost my father at seven, did I want my 5-year-old granddaughter to experience this? Absolutely, NO! Yet!! I am not mad at God. Indeed, as I said, I need Him through this. I know this peace is of Him. Without Him, I would have been somewhere drunk out of mind and in a complete breakdown. Indeed, I probably would have done something the devil suggested if I did not have this peace from God.