Friday, July 20, 2012
#aurora #Colorado #shooting
hardened, merciless killer overnight in our city, killing at least a dozen
and injuring several dozen more. Grief and confusion abound. People are
struggling for answers.
It is transparently clear that this exemplifies a symptom of sin-sickness in
society, but that observation will not bring back a single victim or undo
this horrific crime. What we have right now is an opportunity to share with
the fearful and hurting the God of all comfort.
Paul so describes Him in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. In those few verses alone,
Paul uses the word comfort 10 times. Look at the different ways Paul assures
us of God's comfort, which will help us in traumatic circumstances like
God's comfort is comprehensive (3). Apart from Him, man is ultimately
comfortless. He is the God of all grace (Rom. 15:5), but He's also the God
of all comfort. Nowhere else we go to find it is legitimate, apart from Him.
The Bible uses two metaphors to describe His comprehensive comfort, first of
a shepherd (Isa. 40:11) and the second is that of a mother (Isa. 66:13).
This is fitting, since God is both gentle and strong, nurturing and
God's comfort is plentiful (5). Jesus said He came to bring us abundant life
(Jn. 10:10). Abundance is a key word in 2 Corinthians. It means to be more
than enough, with some left over. We may often see abundant poverty and
suffering, but even when there's suffering, hardship or trial we can be
confident that "God's grace is sufficient for us" (2 Cor. 12:7).
God's comfort is located (5). Comfort literally means "to call to one's
side." If all comfort is available only in God, it makes sense that we must
answer the call to walk by His side to have it. Paul says God's promises are
fulfilled through Christ, including the promise of comfort (1:20). So, I
must be in Him and right with Him to have comfort through Him.
God's comfort is effective (6). It is effective in the patient enduring of
what we suffer. God will deliver us, but biblical comfort is not simply an
emotional sedative or anesthesia. David Garland has said, "God's comfort
strengthens weak knees and sagging spirits so that one faces the troubles of
life with unbending resolve and unending assurance." We can be like the
little boy, separated from his mom in the mall. He was looking around for
her and getting scared. He began to cry because everyone was a stranger,
everything looked so confusing, and every store was packed. He didn't have
his Mom. Suddenly, his mom found him and picked him up. He stopped crying,
not because his surroundings changed, but because of whose arms he was in.
What makes God's comfort effect is that God's the one offering it!
May we find comfort from the God of all comfort at this trying time!
I heard a very prominent political figure addressing this tragedy and
filling his speech with references to God and Scripture. How refreshing!
God has the best answers for our nation's trials and struggles.
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