Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Seek Comfort

What does the word, comfort, mean to you?  We use that word in many different contexts.  We have "comfort food," which signifies food that that not only tastes good but also holds a sort of sentimental value in making us feel comfortable.  We look for comfortable seating and choose the chair that fits us best.  We have the choice of so many different models of cars that advertise their comfort.  But there are other forms of comfort we don't always want to admit that we seek.  Earlier this week I mentioned in my Community Group that I am uncomfortable with conflict and I would prefer to avoid it if possible.  Obviously, there are situations where that just isn't realistic and I have to forego my personal comfort to do what is right.  When we go to serve the people who are oppressed, hungry, homeless, and hurting we are stepping outside of our personal comfort.  But when we seek God and His direction, we are guaranteed that we will be called out of our personal comfort and into suffering but we are also told that we will receive a different type of comfort.  Please use the link and read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.

We see in these verses that we can seek comfort from God.  When we follow Him and call on Him our comfort comes from Him - even in the midst of our suffering.  But there is an interesting thing about the word translated as comfort in these verses.  The Greek word is parakaleō which has a few different meanings.  It can mean to call someone to you, and it can also mean to address or speak to someone.  But then it also means to encourage, exhort or comfort.  It can even mean to strengthen or to teach.  I find it very interesting that the word that means to call to one's side  or to speak to someone can also mean to comfort.  I know in some of my biggest struggles it is when I hear from God that I am encouraged and comforted in my situation.

"For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:5, NLT).  I love that promise!  There is so much wrapped around that word comfort because we can see just by the meaning of the word that comfort can come in many forms.  We can receive it through His encouragement, but we can also receive it through His strength.  We can receive His comfort through the lessons He walks us through.  No matter what, when we are following God and experience difficulty or even suffering, we also know that God will give us what we need to experience a different kind of comfort.

Do you seek your comfort from the materials things around you, or do you seek a better comfort that comes from God?

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