Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking for Comfort? Go No Further than the Lord

Yesterday evening we delivered our granddaughter and her friend to a huge youth event. After helping serve supper to about 800 of those youth, we went to our motel room in town to settle in for the night. I actually fell asleep pretty quickly.  As I had drifted off to sleep it was quiet and the temperature was just right.  

I woke up about an hour later to a loud noise from outside, along with the realization it had grown quite warm in the room. It was a rude awakening from my restful state. Our chance to get away for a few days of leisure turned into a noisy interruption. 

Thankfully the thermostat was quickly adjusted. And thankfully also we found the noise outside our door to be a charter bus, which was warming up to pull away from the motel. Soon it was quiet again.
I picked up my phone for a moment to check the “news” on facebook. We have quite a few friends who are going through some rough stuff in their life. As I look at their posts, some of them are full of information about their quiet life’s interruption of pain, agony, disease, distress, loss and more.

Maybe your life has been interrupted too. You were enjoying everything just as it was. Good health, good marriage, good job, bright future and endless happiness. For most of us things slip up suddenly and we find ourselves face to face with the very thing that we never wanted to see. The temperature has been turned up and we’re flush with worry for the future. The noise pounding in our ears feels like it will never stop.  We become stressed, distressed and can’t seem to feel blessed anymore.  I know many of you have the noise and heat of life’s turmoil drowning out any other sounds.

Where can you go? What can you do? Escape is no alternative, for the bus is right outside your door and it is threatening to run you completely over. The thermostat of tribulation is stuck on high and you’re wringing wet with agony. Stress is all you feel. And you want to escape it all.  You just want it over so you can get back to your normal, everyday, beloved life.

It’s rough out there. And it’s rough where you are right now. Only God knows the final outcome. Only God knows the future, beyond your present troubles. Only God knows when the noise will quiet and the heat will subside. But He has made us promises for those times when nothing is going right. When the hurts and anguish and pressure and pain are almost unbearable, He has made sure and magnificent promises to get you through.

As the hymn writer penned, “There is a place of quiet rest. Near to the heart of God.” This is our shelter in the storm, our hideaway in the heat, our peace in the midst of it all. We’re promised that God will be with us through it, in it and beyond it. We’re not given the exact time the heat will subside or the noise will become quiet, but we are promised He will be with us, to comfort us, to bless us and to remain faithfully by our side all the days of our life.

Oh beloved, although you cannot run from your present circumstances, you can run to the Lord, who is with you! He has given you all His precious promises contained in His book of love. They are there to encourage you, to equip you, give you rest and get you through it all. Open up the Word of God and seek after your Word for the moment. Memorize it. Write it out. Tape it to your mirrors, post it on your dashboard. Stick it on your refrigerator. Believe it. Rest in it. Open up your heart and let Him soothe it with His balm of comfort. Let Him hold you in His everlasting arms. Let Him show you that He is able to do what only He can do. Even though your situation seems so unreal, His Word is real. Together you will make it. Together you will survive the onslaught. Together you will walk in peace knowing that, because He loves you and He’s for you, there will be quiet right now and peace forever as you rest in the light of His Word.

Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.

Isiaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His heart…

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Psalm 34:17-18 The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You.

Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

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