my eyes long for your promise; i ask, “when will you comfort me?” [psalm 119:82]
when you long for comfort, where are you looking? to the promises of God? the salvation of God in Christ Jesus? the goodness of the gospel? or the comforts from the world? food/drink. shopping. social media. control. netflix. putting others down/gossip. pornography. working out. affirmation of man.
the world calls these coping mechanisms. but when we depend on them for comfort, joy, and satisfaction instead of the Comforter, who is joy and satisfaction, God’s word calls them idols.
i often run to any number of these things, actually with shopping being my latest go to when i am looking for distraction from feeling overwhelmed, from anxious thoughts, from anger, from boredom.
but when i am feeling these things, and my eyes long for the comfort of the promises of God, why would i not go to the only one who can fulfill those promises, the Comforter Himself! like pastor John said last wednesday, it’s because i have developed an intimacy with other things. i have practiced something often enough that i can perform it without even thinking. but what would it look like if i were developing this same practice of running to the promises of God! o that the Lord might grow this in me!
i hear so many people say this is their desire, to want to run to the Word for comfort, but that God just hasn’t granted them the passion. they don’t want to cross God off of their checklist, so they don’t meet with God at all. but this is such a devastating lie of the enemy! so often, God blesses our resolve to seek him by giving us passion to seek him! when we can place rhythms in motion through discipline because we know in our minds what our soul needs, and continue asking, begging even, for the heart, God’s word will go out strongly and not return to him void. so let’s practice this, as individuals, as lot families, as the church body, saying no to earthly comforts in order to run to the much sweeter comfort of God himself!
blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and 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. for as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. [2 cor 1:3-7]
therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [hebrews 12:1-2]