Thursday, August 27, 2015

2Co 1:3-5 NASB - "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."


At the time of suffering and loss few of us have a vision of God as a heavenly Father of mercy and comfort.  In the darkness of our grief, pain, struggle, and confusion many times the Father seems to us distant and silent. Our circumstances don’t seem to reflect mercy but harshness.  

This vision of our Father can only be found when we remember that the true God is revealed in our Lord Messiah/Christ Jesus.  The Messiah is loved by  the Father and must suffer to save us and the world. Therefore, as the body of Messiah in the world we must also know the sufferings of Messiah. 

To follow Messiah Jesus we must take up our cross and follow in our times of grief.  The cross of Christ makes sense of our struggle because even God the Son who becomes the Son of God faces horrible pain and loss during HIS life.  How could it be different for us?

That suffering was needed so that God could show us just mercy.  We have forgiveness in the Messiah Jesus and ultimate loss and sorrow have been removed although they remain in the present moment, here “East of Eden”.  

God comforts us with the assurance that our suffering is also for the good and redemption of the world even as ultimately the infinite suffering of Christ won us salvation.  There will be good produced and given birth through our grief.  The Father is with us in our pain, loss, sorrow, and grief.  HE cries with us.  He cares for us.  

How do we know?  Because Messiah Jesus has come for us.  The Lord Jesus has suffered for us.  The blood of God has been shed for us (Acts 20:28).   This is the evidence of the love of God that does not change.  

Another good that comes out of our sorrow is that our ability and capacity to bring comfort to others becomes greater.  There is more comfort in the world because there are wounded comforters.  God is a wounded comforter as well.  This can become a comfort in itself. 

Open yourself to the comfort of God found in the gospel of Messiah/Christ Jesus.  Connect your pain and loss to the larger picture of God having a plan and purpose for this struggle.  

What is it?  Hard or impossible to define that plan or purpose many times.  But we must trust in the goodness of the God who sent Messiah Jesus even when we are in the dark about specifics.  

The Father is one of mercy and comfort.  But we must understand the difficulty of “East of Eden” and everyone here suffers, even God himself.  


Prayer - Lord help me to see you as merciful and comforting even when my circumstances seem harsh and cold.  Sensitize my spirit to sense your SPIRIT at the worst of times.  Save me from the illusions and lies that would deny your great grace and goodness.  Hold be close to your heart    Amen 

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