Blessed be … the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1: 3, 4

 

Discomfort is a term that people in the medical field often use to describe sensations that can range from the mildly annoying all the way to knock you to your knees disabling pain, and this same concept seems to apply to the things that produce what we call discomfort in the rest of life, too. The things that cause us to become uncomfortable can be as minor as a paper cut or a serious as a terminal illness, and they will be simple to fix like a lost button, and totally challenging like a lost relationship. In any and in all of these situations there is only one place to turn in order to gain real perspective and to gain the sort of healing calm that comes from a heart that is at peace and has confidence regardless of what is happening. This is when we need to look to the source of all comfort, God.

 

The Lord wants to place His loving hands on our shoulders and help us gain the sort of perspective that comes from the truth of His Word and through the interaction of His Spirit. Additionally, He wants to engage with us in all of the situations in our lives where we find ourselves stressed out, frazzled, fearful, angry, or dealing with any of the other emotional states that tend to get us off track and make us less functional as people whose primary calling in this world is to bring glory to God. Since most people don’t like to admit that we don’t have a satisfactory plan for handling all that comes our way and that we don’t possess the resources that we need in ourselves, it requires real strength and courage to take all of our concerns and challenges and turn them over to Christ; yet, He does have and will provide everything that we do need.

 

Like the rest of God’s relationship with us, He wants to give comfort to us. However, it doesn’t stop there; for, the Lord wants us to get our feet under us and to understand and trust Him so that we can, in turn, become people who help others understand where and how to find this same sort of life-changing perspective and the deep peace that comes out of it. We need to allow God to open our minds and our hearts to the pain and to the hurting people around us; for, when we comfort others, we bring God’s presence into their lives, and we express our blessing to the Lord.

 

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The Lord shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

Revelation 21: 4

 

As I have known several dear people who, in recent days, have died after battles with painful illness and I do know several more who are living under the oppressive pain and suffering of harsh illnesses or injuries, the thoughts that Christ gave to John in this vision seem truly pertinent for today. Almost everyone knows people who are in these challenging times of life or we have been there ourselves or we are working hard at living through it all today. In this broken and sin plagued world our own bodies will become victims of the universal decay and collapse of a creation that God intended to be perfect and eternal. There is simply no escaping the reality of human frailty and mortality.

 

The pain that people experience during these times is very real, and it is often devastatingly hard to endure both for the sufferer and for those who love and care about that person. Yet, that period of endurance is a mere moment when you contemplate the Lord’s eternity. It is a short journey down a long and brutal road that is very similar to the one that Christ walked on His way to Golgotha and beyond as He secured and sealed our right to freely and totally enter into the presence of God. We are granted a glimpse into those eternal hours when God’s plan for the redemption of humanity and for the restoration of Creation was made complete and was consecrated by Jesus’ blood.

 

It is my belief that in this verse Christ was giving John a picture of the way that this world will be restored when He returns, and I also believe that Christ was providing us with a very hopeful and encouraging look into the new reality that His children experience when they leave this life and enter into their eternal one. Much of the way that we people process and understand life is based upon experience. The things that we have thought and experienced become the overlay and the filter for evaluation and for comprehension of virtually everything we encounter. Christ is telling us that when we enter into His presence we will no longer have the pain and the tears of our human lives as our basis for understanding; thus, there will be no need for mourning. Death no longer holds us in its grasp and it no longer has any control over our existence. In that moment when we leave this life and enter into eternity, we are taken into the presence of Christ who is the author of all joy, peace, and comfort. Then we are dwelling in a home where there is no more sorrow or suffering. Yet, even here and now with life as it is, that future hope is also our reality in Christ as we are dwelling in the presence of our Lord and Savior and within the comfort of His grace and mercy.