The Three Way’s God Comforts – Happy & Comforted Part 2
What are the comforters that God uses? There are three:
- God’s Word.
Fill your mind with Scripture. David said in Ps. 119:25, 52 “I am completely discouraged. … Revive me by Your Word. Your Word has been my comfort.” Read through the book of Psalms and highlight all the verses that comfort you. Then you will have them in those times of trouble to read what God says to you. Psalms was written to comfort us. There are over 7000 promises in this Bible. Underline all the promises so you’ll know where they are. And claim them. Behind our pretty faces is a lot of pain. You ask, “Does God have a Word for me?” The answer is “Yes, He does have a word for you. The word is, your pain matters to God.” He sees it, He understands it, He feels it. He’ll help you in that frustration, that pain, that hurt. Look to God’s word and become a student of this book.
- God’s People. We need each other. We were not made to be isolated from each other. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. We need each other to make it. If you don’t have any family we are your family. This church is a family. That’s what God meant the church to be. You need to be in a family. You need to be in a small group so you can have those people to encourage you in tough times and be there.
2 Cor 1:3-4 “The God of all comfort comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” If you’re hurting today, you are not alone in your hurt. You think your problem is unique, that is not true. No matter what problem you have it is not unique. Many people have had the same problem you have right now. That’s the value of a being in a Growth Group. You have heart to heart and face to face conversations. When somebody says, “I’m having a tough time with my teenagers, ” others say, “We have too. We’ve been there.” For your own sake, you need to get in a group. Don’t just be a spectator; be a participator. Meet some people so that when you go through the crises of life there are people there to help you.
Can you remember that pain you went through months ago, or years ago? If you can, you have an obligation to help other people through the same hurt you’ve gone through. God allows us to go through problems, comforts us, so we can turn around and comfort other people with the same comfort we’ve received. You don’t know all the lessons you learned from it? People in pain don’t need advice. They just need someone to say, “I understand. I know what it’s like to have a child die. I know what it’s like to go through a divorce. I know what it’s like to loose your job overnight. I know what it’s like to miss a goal, a dream.” God never wastes a hurt. If you have had a problem in your life that you have gone through, you have an obligation to other people to help them through it too. That’s your ministry. God wants to use the hurts you’ve had in your life to encourage others. Whether you’ve learned anything or not, just the very fact that you can say, “I understand. I know where you’re coming from. I remember the loneliness. I remember the pain. I remember the rejection. I remember what it felt like to be brought up in the home of alcoholic parents. I know what it’s like to be brought up where my mom walked out the door and never came back. I know what it’s like.” There are other people going through that very experience right now. They need your comfort. They need your help.
- God’s Presence. This is the greatest comfort of all. God himself wants to be your friend. Two thousand years ago, Jesus walked around in a body here on earth and said to His disciples, “I’m going to go back to heaven but when I go, I’m going to come back to earth in another form, in the form of a Spirit, so I can be with you and in you.” That’s the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ coming in another form. He called the Holy Spirit the Comforter. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to comfort us. When I invited Jesus Christ into my life I said, I commit myself to You. I want to get to know You better. I’m not talking about religion. You may be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, whatever. I’m talking about relationship. Jesus put His spirit in my life. I don’t always feel it all the time, but it strengthens me to make it through the tough times in life. It helps me out. The Holy Spirit comes into your life, not to make you some kind of religious fanatic, not to scare you, not to turn you into some kind of an oddball, but to comfort you and help you become what God wants you to become. You don’t have to be afraid of that. I didn’t feel any different when I made the commitment. But I have noticed the results over the years in my life. When I didn’t think I could make it anymore. You can have that same power in your life. He wants to live in you. He wants to be your friend. He wants to have a relationship to you so that when the tough tragedies of life come you have some inner strength.
As a pastor, I’ve walked with a lot of people through a lot of grief. Psychologists see emotional pain, doctors see the physical pain, bankers and financial counselors see the financial pain, pastors see it all. Financial pain, relational pain, physical pain, emotional pain, marriage pain, parenting pain. It breaks my heart to be at a funeral, where nobody there was a believer, and they had no hope and nothing to comfort them.
The Bible says when Jesus Christ comes into our life, we have a hope. Revelation 21:4 says that someday in heaven for believers there will be a place of no pain, no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more grief, no anger, no more resentment, no more victims. I’m looking forward to that. I’m not trying to scare you into heaven. I invite you to invite Jesus Christ into your life, not because you’re going to die tonight, because you’re probably not going to. But because you’ve got to live tomorrow. Between today and the time you do die whenever that may be, you will have to face some major tragedies in life. If you don’t believe so, you’re just kidding yourself. You will face major tragedies in your life. The question is what are you going to have to hold onto when that comes? What is going to motivate you to get up, get out of bed and go on when your whole world ends because of the death of a loved one, a major crisis or tragedy? What is going to give you hope? God says, I’m aware, I care, I want to help you out, to be your friend. I will strengthen you and help you.” God will help you if you let Him.
God cares and your pain matters to God. He is aware of the frustration in your life. He is aware of the hurt, the frustration, the guilt, the anger, the resentment, the fear, the depression. He says, I want to help you out. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Comfort is available. Not in pills, drinking, affairs, movies, books, whatever, but in God, in Himself. If you will turn to Him you will make it through the pain.
I want to invite you to make three commitments.
- Open up your life to Jesus Christ. Just say, “Jesus Christ, put Your Spirit in my life. I don’t understand it all. I don’t know what it all means. But I realize I’m not making it on my own power. I need God in my life. Jesus Christ, put Your spirit in my life and give me the strength I need to be the person You want me to be and to help me through this pain. Or the pain that may come this next week, or next month, or next year.” Open up your life to Jesus Christ and say Yes.
When you go down in a submarine they pressurize the cabin. The pressure on the outside of the cabin would implode the submarine if they didn’t equalize with pressure on the inside. When you’re going through the pain, the only way to equalize the pressure put on you from the outside, is to be filled with God’s Spirit on the inside. That equalizes the pressure so you don’t cave in, in a crisis.
- Find a church family. You’re welcome at The Ridge but I’m not trying to make a pitch for this church. You need to find a church where you can say, “That’s my family. That’s where I feel comfortable. I’m not going to just be a spectator. I’ll be a participator. I’m going to join and get to know some people.” If you don’t get to know your church family, who’s going to be there in your crisis? Who’s going to hang around you if you don’t get with some people and let them know you — you help them and they help you?
- Give your life away. Realize that if God has helped you in a crisis He wants you to share that with other people. If you’ve had kids that have gone off the deep end, open up and let people know about it, because everybody else has kids and some of them may go off the deep end and they need somebody who knows their pain. If you’ve gone through a divorce or had a problem with alcohol or you’ve gone through a failure at work or you’ve been through a major problem in life and lost a loved one, let that become a ministry in your life encouraging others.
The Bible says that He has seen everything that’s ever taken place in your life. He has hurt when you’ve hurt. Some of the things that have happened in life, we’re never going to get the explanation for. Life is not fair. God’s will is not always done. That’s why we’re to pray for it to be done. We have a choice and when people make bad choices sometimes innocent people get hurt. The Bible does tell us how to handle the hurt.
Heavenly Father, I’m so thankful for Your word that it comforts us in our sorrows and life is not always fun and great, but You are always great. We don’t know what the next week holds but we know, with You in our lives, we have the strength to be radiant with hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.