I am so blessed that a man of his knowledge and depth would be willing to guest-post for me. You should really read his blog – he’s quite awesome!
Anyway, enough of the platitudes, now on with the post:
I’m excited to be guest blogging here! Peter is a tremendous man of God, a real person (in the best sense of the word real), and I appreciate him very much. Now, onto the post…
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”
I believe we can expect comfort. These verses tell us it’s so! God is merciful and is the source of all comfort.
To most people however, this equates to being comfortable. Comfort, according to Merriam Webster Online, means “to give strength and hope to; to ease grief or trouble.” Comfortable on the other hand means, “enjoying contentment or security; free from stress or tension.”
While we are able to learn contentment, we are hard-pressed to find security with no stress. This world and its sin is diametrically opposed to God and His holiness. If we are comfortable then we are essentially in a resting position.
When you’re out on the edge, living radical obedience, and trusting Him at His word—there’s no time to get comfortable. Still if we’re being honest, most people’s prayer lives consist of requests to make their lives on earth more comfortable in their own perception.
I’m not saying I haven’t prayed that way, I absolutely have. But I do know that the better place to be is in a position to receive comfort, that strengthening that comes when we listen and obey. We may suffer for it, but His promise is to comfort.
Trying to maintain a comfortable life means carefully guarding the status quo to maintain equilibrium. It’s desperately attempting to remain stationary. In pursuing this though, we miss out on receiving comfort and then passing that on to others as we have the opportunity.
I can be comfortable on my couch, go to church, and be a good person, but I’ll never be what God intended. Each of our destiny is wrapped up in one another. Part of how we express our love for God is in expressing our love for each other.
I believe we’ve been duped into equating being comfortable with God’s blessing. The more we step out in faith (and suffer for Christ), the more we receive His strength and hope. We can see that comfortable is me-centered and comfort is God-centered.
I’ll end with this verse which I think is one of the hardest to pray (Proverbs 30:8-9),
“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
Sounds sort of like how Jesus told us to pray and also instructed us to “Seek first the Kingdom…”
It’s not that wealth, having nice things, or whatever else is bad. Being comfortable just keeps us from pursuing Him and His purposes. As the verses in both 2 Corinthians and Proverbs remind us, God is the source and Provider.
A life centered on Him will make us stand out in a crowd, but what we pour out will never compare to what He’s able to pour back to us.