Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

2 Thessalonians 2: 16, 17

 

It is not easy to find comfort in this world, at least the sort of comfort that is deep, real and lasting seems to be slippery and elusive. People may think that they have found its source, and just as they begin to settle into that safe and secure feeling, something changes or someone reveals a true nature that is harmful or hurtful. So, edginess and agitation are more apt to be the way that we describe the experience of life today, for stress is a highly regular visitor in most of our modern homes. In this sort of environment, it is hard to be patient and to wait on the Lord’s timing in revealing important things like place and purpose in life or resolution to challenges that we are facing. It is more natural for us to give up and to lose hope for tomorrow to be better.

 

Yet, God operates in the realm of the eternal, and He offers something that is durable but might seem to be slow in its expression of results in the form of hope. The Lord’s engagement with each of us is not based upon actions and reactions in the moment. He does enter into each of those times with us, but He is patient, just, and long-suffering when it comes to our acceptance of His truth, wisdom, and guidance. For me, this is a good thing, for I am stubborn and not a very good listener when it comes to allowing the Spirit the operating room in my heart and mind to do God’s desired transformative work. I tend to hold on tight to the things that I think make me feel safe and comfortable and to struggle with letting go of the aspects of my life that the Lord is attempting to lead me away from. However, my wrestling with God inevitably leads to agitation, an unquiet spirit, and to a sense of unrest that seeks to be resolved.

 

That is where the Spirit comes to me in my state of disarray and speaks His words of calming truth. He guides my mind into entering God’s Word of eternal wisdom as He pours out the Father’s oil of grace and forgiveness upon my sin weary heart. This is the love that God has for each of His people. It is a love that never ceases to seek after what is best for us, and this is a love that brings us hope on days that seem beyond possibility, that grants us grace when we have wandered so far from God’s will that we can no longer see home, and that provides the safety and the provision that we need in order to rest and to recharge for tomorrow’s journey. The God of eternal comfort grants to each of us the shelter and the safe harbor that we so desperately need in this troubled world. He also leads us into service to His kingdom in ways that are satisfying and that grant to us the purpose that our hearts desire to know. The Lord is my great comforter, and He is the hope that makes tomorrow possible and that demonstrates eternity to me in my hours of need.