Monday, June 22, 2009

god of ALL comfort... [part I]

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 [click to read]

Paul (aka Boyfriend) encourages the Corinthian believers by reminding them that God is full of mercy and has endless arms to which He can love on us (BIV* paraphrase). The definition of mercy in the Bible is not quite what we think of in today’s term. Today mercy usually means that we cease to deliver a punishment that is justly deserved; or refraining from dishing out pain and punishment usually out of pity (BIV*). But that’s not the best definition according to The Handbook of Biblical Values.  Dr. Pilch notes that an ancient context of mercy is better rendered as steadfast love. 

Paul also says that God is the God of ALL comfort. Not some comfort, or a little bit of comfort, but ALL comfort! The word comfort used here to to make strong, impart strength, to encourage, and to fortify. When the earth on which we stand trembles and we stumble around looking for comfort, God is there. When we feel like we are surrounded in darkness and can't see the light, God is there. When our hearts ache and break from the trials of Life, God is there.

How do I know this? How can I speak with conviction and persuasion? Because I'm living it out. Through poverty, God has been there. Through obesity, God has been there. Through adversity, God has been there. Through loneliness, God has been there. Through bruised, beaten, and battered heartbreaks, God has been there. Through cancer, asthma, and hydrocephalus, God has been there.

1 Corinthians 1:7 ...our hope for you is not shaken, for as you have shared in our suffering, you will also share in our comfort J The words Paul gave me for comfort, I pass along to you. God will never leave us nor has He forgotten about us (Deut. 31:6). Maybe you are physically sick and need comfort, God is there. Perhaps you're psychologically sick and life is too overwhelming to continue on, God cares. Maybe it's an emotional sickness residing in your heart, God wants to heal you.

God is the God of ALL comfort.

The question that begs to be answered is, how will you stand in the face of affliction, the depths of despair, in the choke of the challenge? Martin Luther King, Jr. beautifully said, The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Tomorrow we'll take a look at a woman from the bible who stands before Jesus in the face of challenge and controversy and comes out fully experiencing the God of all comfort.

*BIV=Bianca International Version


Anonymous said...

Exactly what I need to hear, but still tons of doubt. I know gods there, but there's so much holding me back from peace again. All have left me but god but I won't let him back in. I want to figure out why and how I can fix all this. I can't fix my own problems so I try to fix others. I have no control of anything so I feel powerful with the little things I do. Thanks for sharing. Pray for me

Bianca said...

Oh sweet child, I will pray for you!!!
But here is my prayer: not that your life will be better, but that your faith will be restored. Without faith it is impossible to please the Lord.
I just want to speak the truth in LOVE. Don't grow weary in doing good... in due season you will reap a harvest (Galatians 6:9).

Anonymous said...

Right on...can't wait for part two.


Jasmine said...

B, you are speaking about comfort so passionately and I believe you're speaking from the heart, via experience.
I love you.

Bianca said...

@1717: pray for me :)
@jasmine: why am I crying? Ugh. Emo!

andy gibson said...

Amen. We are loved by a God of Grace. By Grace we are saved, which is all the comfort needed.

Anonymous said...

B how have you been able to cope with obesity.. and the struggle with over-indulgence, not having any motivation to take care of yourself physically (fitness), eating right etc I am finding this to be the hardest stuggle in my life now. Not having any self-control....
looking forward to the teaching and praying for the Lord to speak through you and to hear what he has to say to us.

Anonymous said...

Dear person who is asking about Obesity... I've just recently in this last 10 months have experienced a breakthrough and am still going through the process of developing a healthier outlook on food, self-image and exercise. I will pray for you... one thing is to pray before you eat, meaning prepare yourself mentally and ask Jesus to show you how to know when you've had enough. He will, by HIs Holy Spirit, show you and convict you when you've gone too far and have eaten too much. I could go on and on, but praise the Lord B and others have experienced victories and can share what the Lord is teaching them, you can and will too experience the victory you seek, because the Lord is all about setting us free! God is able! God bless you!

Christy Lynn said...

All I can say is thank you and I pray for you that you will be able to keep posting God's love and word for as long as He sees fit.

I can't begin to tell you how much you and your writings help me. Today of all days, I needed this.

Thank you again,

Bianca said...

@andy: is this andy gibson from lmhs?! Flashback!
@anonymous: i hate to admit this but i have not conquered anything! eating has always been my secret sin and faceless comforter. i LOVE that johannah gave insights... i learned something too! as with any sin, i commit my eating to the Lord everyday. Every. Day. (thanks JB for answering! love it.)
@christy, thanks for leaving some comment love. as lame as it sounds, it makes writing the blogs more worth it! you encouraged me today :)

andy gibson said...

Yes, yes it is. Hope it was a good flashback. Been lurking on your blog for a couple of weeks now via fb. Good stuff Bi, God has given you a gift and you're using it to the fullest.


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