Here are 3 easy ways to receive comfort from God.
There are times when I am so overwhelmed about things in life; home, church, or work, that I fall down before God, and then I open His Word, and find comfort in the Book of Psalms. It seems that the psalmist has been through a lot, and what he’s writing is often just what I feel. Maybe it’s because the psalmist endured so many hardships that the psalms make sense to us, and after reading even a few of them, it’s almost as if he’s read our minds. In Psalm 103, the psalmist writes, that “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11), and His steadfast love means, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). He is compassionate and tender with us because “he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). And in our personal relationship with Him, it is “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). Haven’t you found some comfort in those four short verses? I have…many times! When you are wearied by life and circumstances, run to the Word, camp out in the Psalms, and be comforted by God.
God is Spirit (John 4:24), and Spirit does not have arms, legs, or other body parts, but God uses these words to describe what He does for us and how He is toward those who have trusted in the Son. Just before Moses was about to die and pass on the leadership to Joshua, the people must have been anxious, and perhaps even Joshua, so God inspired Moses to tell the people of Israel, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut 33:27). Naturally God does not have arms of flesh, but it is a way that God speaks so that we can understand what our relationship with Him is like. I’m a father and grandfather, and if my children or grandchildren run to me when they’re hurting, I gladly embrace them in my arms. I am there to try and comfort them and protect them from hurt, if I can, so in an infinitely greater way, God is our refuge, our shelter, and our dwelling place, and if we are in Christ, we are already in the everlasting arms of God. Thankfully, that embrace does not depend on our perfect behavior, lest we’d all lose it, but it’s based upon God’s promise that He never leaves us or forsakes us (Heb 13:5). Again, Moses writes of this loving embrace in language they, and we can understand, writing, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deut 31:6).
I don’t even know where to begin here. There is a lot about love in the Bible, and much of it is most perfectly displayed in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The Apostle John was the “disciple whom Jesus’ loved” (John 13:21-30, John 18:15-18, John 19:26-27), and he later wrote that “we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1st John 4:16), but John doesn’t describe love as a feeling, but “the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1st John 4:9). The love of God was displayed, not by words, but by actions…at the cross. Love is a verb…it is what you do, and Jesus did the most anyone could do, even dying for us while still enemies of God (Rom 5:10). What a radical love that is! It is an agape love that dies for one’s own enemy. We can’t fathom the depths of such love…we can only read about it the Bible. God has clearly showed His love for all the world to see and read for themselves in the often quoted verse, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), but a point so often overlooked is the following verse, which tells us that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Next time Jesus comes, He will come to judge the world in righteousness, but for those who have already trusted in Christ, their judgment has been placed upon Christ at the cross. There is no more condemnation, but only peace with God (Rom 5:1, 8:1), but no one can have the peace of God unless they are at peace with God, and that peace with God comes only through Jesus Christ. There is simply no other way to the Father (John 6:44; Acts 4:12).
If you are in need of comfort, the Word of God always comforts the afflicted, but on the other hand, it afflicts the comfortable. That’s because the Word cuts us down to where we live, looking into our hearts, thoughts, and even our motives (Heb 4:12-13). Nothing can be hidden from it, so by examining the Word of God, the Word of God examines us. It may cut us, but it cuts in order to heal…or it may comfort us from an already existing wound. God gives comfort to those who are afflicted, and is close to those who are crushed and of a broken spirit (Psalm 34:18). If you feel discomforted by life, come to the Lord and camp out in the Psalms or the Gospel of John. Take some rest in the Word, and let the Lord take every burden and every care from off your shoulders. They were never meant to take such a load anyway.