Comfort and Joy

Jeremiah 31: 13

Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

I told you I spent Monday outside setting up Christmas decorations and singing Christmas music at the top of my voice (sorry neighbors). One song that made a big impression on me was God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. How many times have you heard that song and even sung it for yourself? I especially heard and appreciated the line which wishes us tidings of comfort and joy. This year, as a group, we need comfort and joy as perhaps we have not in recent years.

I told you in yesterday’s Word of the Day that as I sang it was if I was transported to that little town on Bethlehem all those many years ago. I thought about the situation into which the child savior was born. The people of that day were as desperate for God’s help as we are today. The lived in an occupied territory. Think of that in present day military terms. They were not under self-rule accept to the degree that the Romans did not wish to be bothered with what they considered mundane issues. The big questions of the day were decreed by the Roman rulers. The people cried out for the promised Messiah to come relieve them of the burden of Roman rule. They were oppressed. It is into this environment that the babe was born.

Mary should have been home preparing for the birth of her child. Instead, she was forced to journey to Bethlehem because Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken. Can you imagine having to travel with those primitive transportation means when you are near your due date. However, the Jews had no choice but to do everything the Romans demanded. Those were some people who needed comfort and joy.

God promised he would send a savior. He promised He would turn their sorrow to joy and their mourning to gladness. He pledged to give them comfort. And He did. He sent His own son so that generations of people could receive comfort and joy in the place of sorrow.

May you be comforted and may your heart receive joy. The Christmas miracle is reborn in you today!

Peace My Soul

Psalm 116: 7 – 8             TLV

Return to your rest, my soul, for Adonai has been good to you. For You delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

This is a good psalm and I think you will find comfort in many of its verses. I chose these two verses because they shouted to me about the peace we can find in our Lord.

To be honest, it is not always easy to walk in the Lord’s peace. There is trouble in the world. We’ve got problems we’re dealing with and decisions that keep us awake at night. This psalm, though, reminds us of peace we can enjoy when we sink into our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that he gives us immeasurable peace. We have to stop in the middle of our thoughts and remember that he left his peace with us (John 14: 27). In all our reminding, let us be reminded of this from Philippians 4: 7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is so big, so comprehensive that it defies understanding.

Anytime our souls get anxious, we can turn to some of these magnificent verses and remind our inner self to relax, be at peace. Today’s psalm begins with praise and thanksgiving that the Lord, Adonai, hears our prayers. He hears our cries, our petitions, our worries and concerns and He answers and comforts us. Let us, therefore, speak to our own souls the way the psalmist talks to his. “Return to your rest.” Be still and calm O my soul. The Lord has been good to you.

Our God has delivered us. He has been on the site for us in times we don’t even know about. I know this to be true and knowing it helps me to remain confident that I can greet tomorrow in the peace of the Lord for He is with me and will not fail me. He will not fail you either. Let this be your refrain and confession. Bless the Lord.

Practical Compassion

Roman 12: 15        NIV

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

It would be interesting to hear from you as to what this sentiment says to you. It probably says more than seen at first glance. It is also probably appropriate for these times, specifically, because of the wide-spread and varied emotions people are experiencing around the globe.  People are facing a wide range of circumstances.  The situations and accompanying emotions can even vary by geographic region. What is our response to these changing situations and the real-life consequences? This is the application of compassion but what is that practical aspect?

When people mourn many times our response is to try to cheer them. This verse suggests that trying to cheer people up isn’t the only, or perhaps, even the best approach. Maybe compassion means meeting people where they are and being with them in their state. It is uncomfortable, for sure. We like to be around people who are happy and smile a lot. This verse suggests a level of empathy that many of us may potentially find discomforting. It is quite easy to rejoice when others rejoice but mourning with those who mourn is challenging.

Empathy means that we can share the feelings of others. We don’t have to coach them, teach them or try to change their emotions. We only need to be in their space with them. It validates their emotions. We are quick to try to change people but Jesus is asking us to just be with them where they are and show them his compassion. We just let our hearts be tender and give comfort.

Send me your thoughts. What does this look like in real world practice?

Haters Hate

John 15: 18 – 19

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

It can be pretty confusing and disheartening when someone dislikes you or treats you badly when you have never done anything to them. And here is the bad news. The more godly you become, the more they will hate you. But take heart. They hated Jesus first and more so. You are in very good company.

I have great compassion for you because I know how it feels but the one who is greater has even more understanding and compassion. He has been through an even worse experience, so he is completely able to comfort you. The world hates you because you love him. In fact, we might ask ourselves what is wrong if the world does not hate us.

This is very difficult to handle at first. It is not fair. But once you understand what is going on, you begin to find it more tolerable and you actually begin to have compassion for those who persecute you. You will increasingly see them through your Father’s eyes and you will see that it is just their own brokenness that is causing them to malign you. Soon, very soon even, you will find their lies and criticisms do not touch you. You know the one who is the truth and that really is enough to comfort you. Take heart my beloved. You are in the best possible company and the master is well able to take care of you.


Isaiah 51: 12

I, even I, am He who comforts you.

You do not have to rely solely on the comfort of friends because God has assigned the task of comforter to Himself. It is great to have the comfort of friends and family, but they are not always available. There is only one who is with you morning, noon and night. Yahweh, Father, Holy God is with you in all hours of the day. Furthermore, He knows your problems intimately so he can address them better than anyone else.

What’s more, He loves you so much that He does not want to leave the comfort of you to anyone else. He wants to be the one you call first. And you won’t awaken Him if you call Him in the middle of the night.

This is part of your covenant with the Lord. We didn’t even have to ask Him for His part of the bargain. He has freely offered to be your shelter, your refuge. It is a job He sought, not one that we gave to Him. That alone should give you some amount of comfort. He will take away all the sorrow, grief and worry. Just put everything on His shoulders and let Him be the comforter of your soul.

Shine the Light

Psalm 43: 3        TPT

Pour into me the brightness of your daybreak!
Pour into me your rays of revelation-truth!
Let them comfort and gently lead me onto the shining path,
showing the way into your burning presence,
into your many sanctuaries of holiness.

Isn’t this beautiful? Can you see Father pouring His light into you, filling you with the light of revelation truth? Wow! That is an image to ponder. That shining light leads us from the inside out. I find that fascinating but also rational. Yahweh’s light within us leads us into all truth. It leads us onto the shining path. Lovely!

It is no big surprise that the shining path leads into the very presence of God. Jesus said he was the light (John 8: 12). He also said he is the way (John 14: 6). The way to what or whom? As “Christians” we sometimes focus so much on the Christ that we forget that he is the way to the Father. He is the light which always leads us to the Father. However, God’s light and revelation truth do more for us. They comfort us.

Did you know your Dad is in the comfort and encouragement business? A friend of mine was recently teaching about angels from her book, Everyday Angels (Kayembe, What I found so interesting is how she explained why angels in the Bible so often began their encounter with people with the words, “Do not be afraid.” She explained it was because these people were in troubling, even frightening, situations so the first thing the angels did was to comfort them. Can’t you picture God on His throne, dispatching an angel saying, “Go encourage them, tell them all is okay.”  That’s because He comforts and encourages us.

The light also protects you for where there is the light, there can be no darkness. We must endeavor to let God fill us to overflowing with His light. In His light is warmth, security and revelation. His burning presence must be like sitting by a warm fire on a cold day while reading a good book. It nurtures us, inside and out.

Bask in Dad’s glorious sanctuary today. Sit with Him by the fireplace and fill up on His voice and His presence. Let His light saturate your cells and even your DNA. Be restored in His presence by the light of His glory and revelation. And have a truly Great Day!

No Worries

Psalm 94: 19          Names of God Bible (NOG)

When I worried about many things, your assuring words soothed my soul.

How about some reassurance this Monday morning? It’s the day after Easter, Resurrection Sunday, and we have renewed belief in the power of the resurrection and the glory of the Lord. He is alive and present. His resurrection and the power that raised him confirms in our hearts that he is with us, even until the end of the age. Now why should he be continually present in our lives if not to help us and comfort us?

I noted  the psalmist, didn’t write that when he prayed about his troubles, God soothed him. While I believe that would be inevitable, it is comforting to know that God soothes even our troubled thoughts. Not only that, it is clear that God spoke to him because he wrote that it was God’s assuring words that soothed him. God was on hand in the moment of need.

It is easy to get bogged down in a mountain of worries. Jesus acknowledged that each day has enough worries of its own. The power of the Trinity in our lives, though, is to carry those burdens for us. Peter told us to cast all our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us. So, we mustn’t be weighed down with the cares of the world but instead set our eyes on him, the author and perfecter of our faith. Seek the Kingdom of God while Jesus bears the weight of problems for you. It may sound irresponsible, but this is New Testament faith, union with the Holy Trinity so integrated that our problems are theirs as well. Jesus gives us his glory and takes our troubles. It’s not fair but it sure is good.

Listen to the heart of the Lord today. He is calling you into a new place with Him. It is the first day of new life today. Let him speak soothing and reassuring words into your ears. He loves you, you know. Just let him show you today. Be blessed.