Divine Comfort – Introduction
Living this human experience we all know both good times and tough times. The ups and downs of life are inescapable. During the good times, all is right with our world. During the tough times we may feel unloved – abandoned, alone. For those of faith, however, it’s important to remember we are never truly alone. We know from Scripture that God will never abandon us, He is always with us. No matter what we are experiencing, through our relationship with Him, we always have access to Divine Comfort.
“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”
We all go through experiences that challenge us – experiences that challenge our resolve, our strength to endure, even our faith. I remember having many conversations with God over the years wherein I said, “Lord, I know you won’t give me any more than my shoulders can bare…but they’re getting mighty tired and hunched over. Can you lighten the load a little, please?”
Of course, with time and prayer, I’ve come through each experience. And, I’ve noticed over the years that, looking back, each experience that I thought was “bad” at the time, moved me further on my journey, and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I experienced a closer and deeper relationship with God, and with Jesus.
Discomfort, turmoil, and tough times propel us forward into a deeper relationship with God through our relationship with Jesus via the Holy Spirit.
This message was given to me loud and clear a few weeks ago during a time of deep spiritual connectedness. In my meditation I had a vision of a sail boat. The water was perfectly calm, flat and smooth as glass. In the stillness, the boat sat, perfectly still, motionless. I next saw an image like an old chartoon – a bellows being compressed and the swirls of air being forced out the nozzel. As the bellows forced air out, the water began to move and turn choppy – and the sailboat began to move. The faster the water moved, the faster the boat moved. It became so clear to me that we are that sailboat. When everything in our lives is perfectly calm and going smoothly, we become stagnant and still. We become complacent, and we don’t move forward. It’s the tough times, the times of turmoil, that we are propelled forward into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God, and with Jesus. And it is in that relationship that we find comfort through the Holy Spirit.
In John 14:16 – Jesus said, “And I will ask of my Father, and He will give you another Comforter, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it has not seen Him and does not know Him; but you know Him because He abides with you and is in you.”
And in John 14:26, Jesus specifically calls the Holy Spirit our Comforter when he said, “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom my Father will send in My name…”
One of the areas in which this is spelled out for us is in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Let’s take a look at what he has to say in Chapter 1, verses 2-7:
“Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we also may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, by the very comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds in Christ. Even though we are oppressed, it is for the sake of your consolation and for the sake of your salvation that we are oppressed; and if we are comforted, it is so that you might be comforted also, to be strength in you that you may be able to bear these sufferings, the same which we suffer. And our hope concerning you is steadfast, for we know that if you are partakers of the sufferings, you are also partakers of the consolation.”
God is the Creator of all there ever was, is, or shall be. Our Lord, Jesus, is His Son. Since God abides in Jesus, and Jesus abides in us, we are also God’s children.
God is the Father of mercy. Scripture often refers to God’s mercy as: manifold (Nehemiah 9:19, “rab” meaning abundant); tender (Psalm 25:6); and great (Numbers 14:19, “godel” meaning magnitude).
And He is the God of all comfort. The Greek words used are “parakaleo,” which means to call near, invite, or be of good comfort; and “parakletos,” and “paraklesis” – which mean consoler, advocate, and comforter. One of the gifts we receive through our faith, belief, and following of Jesus is God sending us His Holy Spirit to comfort us.
Not only does His Holy Spirit comfort us directly, but through each other. Notice the words “so that we may also be able to comfort those who are in any trouble.” God’s Holy Spirit is a source of comfort, and by the Spirit working in and through us, we are able to comfort each other. We share in suffering through tough times, just as Jesus did; we share in His strength and His comfort; and we share the strength and comfort we receive with others, and they with us. God’s love and comfort are, quite literally, channeled through us to one another via His Holy Spirit.
An example of this is given to us in 2 Corinthians 7:6-7:
Nevertheless God, who comforts the meek, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you…”
Whatever we may be going through, we don’t have to go through it alone. God’s Divine Comfort is always available to us – both directly through our relationship and communion with Him, and indirectly through our relationships with each other.
In order to experience His comfort directly, we must spend time with Him. By taking time the still and quiet calm of prayer and meditation, we connect with Him on a spiritual level. And as that relationship is deepened and strengthened, we can, quite literally, see, feel, and hear Him guide us. We can experience His loving arms wrapping around us and comforting us. But this can’t happen in the hustle bustle of our everyday lives. We must take time, each and every day, to nurture and develop that relationship. When we do, we can have some of the most intense and meaningful experiences with Him.
I was blessed to have had one of those experiences recently. In the course of a Reiki session, I connected with the Holy Spirit in an incredibly deep, spiritual way. Spiritually, I left the physical plane and was joined by Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel, and Jesus. The four of us sat under an olive tree and talked, bathed in white radiance unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Their presence was so intensely warm and radiant it’s impossible for words to describe. Literally, there are no words adequate to the experience.
And I have no conscious memory of what we talked about. But I can still feel the warmth and the depth of the love that I felt – to very core of my being.
I’m not alone or unique in my experience. Many, many people throughout the ages have had a profound, deeply moving experience with God. Let me share a friend’s story. After coming out, my friend was experiencing incredible turmoil. Much of his family, most of his friends, and the members of the church in which he was raised turned their backs on him. He was shunned, told repeatedly how horrible he was, that God didn’t love him, and he was no longer welcome in their lives or in their church. He was an emotional wreck, which also impacted his physical health. Through it all, he never lost his faith – but he questioned. Were his family and friends right? Was he so terrible that God could no longer love him? And, if God no longer loved him, was he destined to “go it alone,” forever cut off from, not only family and friends, but from God and Jesus, too?
During his struggle, he decided to stop by our church and use one of our prayer rooms. It was here, in our little church, that he had one of the most amazing experiences of his life. When he came out of the room, with tears streaming down his face, he couldn’t yet articulate his experience so he just hugged me and we cried together. Later, he emailed me to give me a glimpse of his experience:
“…This afternoon, while I was trying to quiet my constantly racing mind, I heard God tell me that He loves me. Ever since coming out, I have accepted the fact that God must love me, but I had yet to actually acknowledge it. To my surprise, I felt Him wrap his loving arms around me, like a protective shield, and [He] whispered in my ear, “I love you.” It was one of the most incredible and intimate moments that I have experienced in my relationship with the Lord since I became a Christian. Thank you for allowing this to occur by developing a safe and quiet place. I don’t know of any other time when I have felt such a connection with my Lord…”
We can all experience God’s love, Jesus’ peace, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. All it takes is a deep and intimate relationship borne of faith and belief, and nurtured by time spent in the stillness and quietness of prayer and meditation.
We all experience tough times – whether physical, emotional, mental, financial, or spiritual. And, like Mother Teresa, sometimes we really wish God didn’t trust us quite so much. Still, no matter what we’re experiencing, God will always be there. Whether experienced directly or channeled through others, His Holy Spirit is always with us, and is our source of Divine Comfort. And so it is…Amen.
- John 14:16
- John 14:26
- 2 Corinthians 1:2-7
- 2 Corinthians 7:6-7
I like to thank and acknowledge Pastor Byron Hand for his thoughts on today’s subject.
Join the Discussion
If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to respectfully comment. And, if this message resonates with you, please fee free to share it.
Support Our Ministry
We are a very small church doing wonderful things within our community. In order to continue doing the work God has put before us, we need your help. Please consider making a donation, or sign up as a monthly pledge donor. All gifts large and small are greatly appreciated. Simply click the Donate link in the upper menu. Thank you, and may God bless your generosity.