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Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

 
“If you had only known on this day
 
what would bring you peace.” 
 
— Jesus
 
 
As Jesus was crying, looking at Jerusalem, he said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.  They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”  Luke 19:41-44   
 
Are there ways that we are like Jerusalem?  Does Jesus look at our lives and weep because we do not accept the peace he is offering?  Does he cry because we do not recognize the time of God coming to us?
 
The path of peace is being offered to
 
us, but we have to choose daily to
 
walk on it.
 
Thank you to Larry Cline, whose sermon inspired this post.  He posed the question, “What does Jesus find when he looks at my life?” and made the statement, “I pray that Jesus doesn’t cry when he looks at my life.”
 
 
This post was edited early this week, and was scheduled to post today.  In light of today’s tragedy in Connecticut, I almost didn’t post it.  I decided to go ahead, because especially today, we need to know the peace and comfort that Jesus is offering.  When people turn away from God, evil is increasingly apparent.  In the above verse, Jesus was predicting the consequences of the people of Jerusalem’s behavior.  Our country is experiencing the consequences of our godless ways.  Violence is continually erupting in our land.  Our only hope is to “recognize the time of God coming to us.”  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
 

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My eyes are dim with grief. 
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
 
 Psalm 88:9
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On Friday night, I went to bed thinking about Psalm 88:9 and asking myself the question,”Can you ever be prepared for grief?” On Saturday, I woke up to the news that Ty, the son of my close friends Ty and Nancy, had been in a serious car accident and was on life support.  Then this morning, I received the gut-wrenching news, “Ty is gone.  They are donating his organs.”
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The devastating sorrow I now feel is answering my own question: “No, you can never be prepared for grief.  You can only be prepared to receive comfort by knowing the source of true comfort.”
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No guilt in life, no fear in death —
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from his hand;
Till he returns or calls me home —
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
~
  by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
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“So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” — Paul
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In honor of Ty Osman II
A beautiful man of God

 

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Comfort Overflows

For just as the sufferings of Christ
flow over into our lives, so also through
Christ our comfort overflows.
 
2 Corinthians 1:5
 
 
Suffering does have a purpose
Though it hurts beyond words
He endured the pain
All the rejection and shame
Physical – Emotional
His heart was like wax
that melted away
He then died for me
 
I fall on my knees
His story touches my soul
Takes me to the heart of God
Embraces my pain
Gives me power to love
 
I seek the silence
When I am quiet I hear
The whisper
Of a love larger than me
Surrounding my soul with joy
 
Do you hear the invitation
To come and rest in His peace
To drink the living water
Receive Divine Love
 
Terry S. Smith
my precious daddy
 
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me ….  But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.  Psalm 22:13-14,19
 

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Jesus’ head

 
Again and Again
 
they struck Him
 
on the head …
 
Mark 15:19
 
 
 
Recently, during a ferocious migraine, it occurred to me that Jesus also endured head pain.  His head hurt, not only while he was beaten, but also while He was hanging on the cross.  While on the cross, I can imagine Jesus hanging His head down, and when His muscles were so exhausted and taut that He could no longer bear it, raising His head to find relief — relief that could not be found. 
 
The crown of thorns upon His recent head injuries and decreased blood circulation to His brain certaintly added to his pain.  He probably had the worst migraine that anyone has ever endured.  Obviously, Jesus had far greater pain in other parts of His body, but it is comforting to me to know that there is no pain my head feels that Jesus has not felt. 

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His ears

I called out to My God…
He heard my voice;
my cry came to His ears.
2 Samuel 22:7
 
 
It is comforting to me to know that God hears me.   He usually does not answer as quickly as I want or send the answers I want, but it still encouraging to know that I have been heard.
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My children often ask me for things they do not need or for something they are going to get in the future.  My five-year-old son frequently asks for a new bike.  He is going to get a new bike, but not until his birthday.  In the same way, God knows what we need and when we need it.  It is a part of faith to trust Him and to wait. 

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fire

 

The Lord spoke to you out of the fire.
Deuteronomy 4:12
 
 I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.
They will call on My name and I will answer them.
Zechariah 13:9 
 
 
~ God of Grace ~
You speak to me through the fire of pain.
Please help me to hear what You are saying.
I claim Your promise that You will answer when I call on Your name.  The “fires” in my life make my soul thirsty for You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
 
O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You;  my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1
 

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walk through fire

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2
 
 
My friend Christine was burned many years ago, so she has a unique perspective about what it means to walk through fire.  Here is a devotional thought she wrote in 2000.
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On June 19, 1997, I walked into my kitchen and found a pot of grease on fire. In an effort to save the house from burning, I accidentally spilled the grease on myself, burning 38% of my body.  I was rushed to a burn unit in Mobile, Alabama where I spent the next 31 days.  It took two full years to recover.
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As I fought for my life and struggled with faith, God whispered His promises to me, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name; you are Mine!  For I am the Lord your God – the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!”
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With the comfort of these verses came confusion.  How can He say, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze?”  I clearly had proven scripture false because I had been burned.  Where was the protection He’d promised when I needed it most?
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God reminds His people Israel that He knows them by name, has made a special covenant with them and He will not let anything overcome them.  He does not promise a life free of “floodwaters and fire,” but He does promise His love and protection.

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Our physical bodies are not exempt from floods and fires, but our hearts are held in the hands of our Redeemer.  He doesn’t promise protection from physical pain, but He does promise that He will be with us (Isaiah 43:2,5). He will love us because we are precious to Him (Isaiah 43:4), and He will bring us back to Himself (Isaiah 43:4-7).

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Three years later, I have walked through the fire and have smelled the stench of charred skin: “But I have also tasted the goodness of God’s love!”

On June 19, 1998 an ultrasound revealed God’s gift of twins.  As I sit here now listening to the playful voices of Abi and Micah, I rejoice that God has a perfect plan that doesn’t depend on my faithfulness.  I am so grateful His passion to pursue my heart and fill its thirst is never ending — even if it means walking with me through fire.

“It may not be the way I would have chosen

When you lead me through a world that’s not my home

But you never said it would be easy

You only said I’ll never go alone.”

 Ginny Owens, “If You Want Me To” from the CD Without Condition 

Christine Davis                                                                                                     Knoxville, Tennessee                                                                                           From the Heart of a Lion, © 2000 Bryan College: Bryan College Press, Dayton, Tennessee.

 

 

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