Friday, July 8, 2016

COMFORTED OF GOD

“Ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13).

What a prophecy! This verse speaks of comfort in the Church, of every member of Christ’s Body lovingly nourishing one another. It is an image of God’s people comforting each other’s hurts and entering into their sufferings.
This image is confirmed by Paul in the New Testament: “Blessed be . . . the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, my italics).
Note that nothing is said here about deliverance from the battle. We are told only that the Holy Spirit gives us comfort to endure and stay steadfast in our trial: “comfort . . . in trouble.”
This comfort, provided by the Spirit in the midst of our troubles, is not simply a temporary lifting of the burden. It is not a sigh of relief, a shutting out of troubling thoughts or fears. Rather, it is comfort that comes to us in our troubles—and it is supernatural. It is a miraculous work, a heaven-sent healing of mind, soul and spirit. Such comfort is the exclusive ministry of the Holy Spirit, and is accomplished by faith as we trust in His love for us.
Dear saint, I ask you: What do you have to give to others in trouble? What has the Holy Spirit done in you that can bring healing to hurting friends and family?
It is not a question of means or charity. Kind words of sympathy are not enough. A grocery basket is not the entire answer. All of these things are good and scriptural, but none of them in themselves are able to heal hearts.
“That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
The Holy Spirit promises a creative miracle.