THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT
It’s the 2018 holiday season and Christmas is right around the corner. Believers will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For most of us this season is a joyous occasion and reminder that Jesus came to earth to bridge the gap between God and man. And, while commercialism will try and take over, I encourage you to remember the real reason for this season.
Sadly, it is also this time of year when for some their troubles seem to be magnified. For some, the idea of Christmas cheer amplifies their “less than joyful” situation, and leaves them feeling empty and without comfort. There are also those who have high expectations of renewed happiness during the holiday season, only to experience a lack of fulfillment and disappointment. It is during these times we have more questions than answers.
When we read God’s Word, we find that God’s people, even the very elect of God, endured seasons where they questioned life’s challenges and their own purpose, not being able to see beyond their present circumstances. We’ve read about Elijah, how at one of the greatest moments recorded in history, he found himself questioning his life, leading him to hideaway in an abandoned cave. At a time when he should have been rejoicing in the victory that God had brought him, he was isolated, disheartened, and wondering about his purpose.
John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who ever lived, according to Jesus’ own description. He too, had a moment of questioning as he sat in prison wondering if Jesus Christ was actually the Messiah. In fact, he sent his own disciples to ask Jesus that very question. There is a lot of speculation about his motivation and perhaps we will never know the fullness of the answer. But, we do know he was in a season of contemplation which led to questions. Jesus simply sent a word of comfort to John pointing to fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy:
Matthew 11:4-5 NLT 4 “…Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”
This same Jesus is the one who spoke to the storm and brought comfort to His disciples. He can do the same for you.
Let us not forget that the miraculous is happening all around us and in our own lives, even when we fail to see it. And, if by chance, you find that you are uneasy and lacking comfort during this season, I want to remind you that our God is the source of all comfort [2 Cor. 1:3-7]. The Bible also lets us know that God comforts those who are discouraged [2 Cor. 7:6]. Don’t try to find comfort in the holiday season, it’s in Jesus; it is in the living in the hope that we have in Him.