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.

Comfort

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, glorywaves.org). 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.

Rest and Comfort

Proverb 3: 32

For the crooked man is an abomination to the Lord; but He is intimate with the upright.

I cannot think of anything more wonderful nor anything more satisfying than an intimate relationship with God the Father, His son and His Spirit. No matter what else goes right or wrong in life, a close, personal relationship with them, where you know them and have time with them, really anchors all of life. Your brokenness, or other people’s, is no longer the master of your life when you have your Dad to turn to and to talk to. Just being in His presence is joy itself, and life abundant. It is better than the best day at Disney World or even raising the championship trophy over your head. And when you are broken and defeated, He will breathe air into your lungs. He is everything and knowing Him as your friend and as your Father is all things. So many things become easy when He is your constant companion. I am not saying that there are not still challenges in the world. As long as there is a devil he is going to try to find some way to upset you but when you have God as a Father and Jesus as a big brother, believe me, they can do some real damage to your enemies. Just keep your eyes and attention on them and allow the Holy Spirit to completely fill you up. You will find the rest and comfort you need.

Comfort and Joy

Philemon 1: 7

For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love.

Tidings of comfort and joy I bring to you this day in the name of Jesus. “Remember Christ our savior was born on Christmas Day.” He came offering us comfort. He is the gift of joy to each person. Joy is a choice, however and is the comfort he brings. His presents are offerings from God the Father but not all choose to receive.

As I listen to this Christmas carol, I hear in it Jesus’ evangelical message. It is different from many of the evangelical messages I have heard in the past. This one holds no condemnation. It does not scream that we are destined for hell unless we repent. This message from the savior king says very simply, “I have come to offer you comfort and joy.” Hallelujah!

Sometimes I think we misunderstand the word “savior.” Somehow we even confuse it with task master or condemner but Jesus, by his own admission, came to give us abundant life (John 10: 10). When all the world was lost and spiraling down to eternal torment, God, in his love, devised a plan to comfort us and to give us great joy. That was His big plan, to soothe and save us from ourselves. He sent a baby, probably the most non-threatening image in this world, to be our savior.

I hope you will sing about comfort and joy all day today and as you do may God’s love and comfort fill you. I pray that His presence within you will fill you with peace, the peace of Jesus, that peace which is incomprehensible unless you experience yourself. Love, joy, peace and comfort are His gifts to you today. Enjoy!

God of Comfort

2nd Corinthians 1: 3 – 4

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.

Do you wish to be a disciple of Christ? Do you want to be a person that God can use? If so, then you have to make yourself ready. You have to receive the comfort which you will need for others.

Most of us want to be soldiers for the Lord but we fail to understand that God’s soldiers don’t carry swords, they come with healing. They come bearing good news of the Kingdom. Jesus said he came to set free those who are downtrodden (Luke 4: 18). This statement he quoted from a passage in Isaiah, which reads, “to bind up the brokenhearted.” This is such a big part of the ministry of the gospel. People are hurting. In many ways most of us have broken hearts. Jesus came to heal those hearts. As Disciples of Christ, we are to continue his work. Here is the thing though, most of us are so injured and scarred that all we bring is judgment and criticism. If we are going to be useful to Jesus, we must first get healed ourselves.

Why does this frighten people so? We walk around badly injured but do very little to receive healing. Do we delude ourselves that if we just let time pass, we will heal. Observation suggests that just the opposite is true. Our wounds fester rather than heal. Then the hurts of our hearts make it not only impossible to carry out the works of the good news but instead we go about hurting others. You cannot give what you have not first received. We cannot comfort others with the good news of the gospel if we will not first receive the comfort and healing that we promise to others. Our words will not ring true and our testimony of our fruit will scream, “Hypocrite!” I realize we are all trying our best but success isn’t in trying alone. We must be equipped with the right tools, the first of which is our own healed heart.

There are plenty of methods, modalities, tools and mechanisms for healing. Our big brother is THE great healer and he got all of his skill and anointing from our Father. Healing is in our house. Is it even rational to think that God has not provided the means by which we are to be emotionally and mentally healed? Did we think healing was only for our bodies? We are three-dimensional beings. Do you think God did not know that and provide for wholeness for every aspect of our lives? That seems an unreasonable speculation.

It is high time the body of Christ stopped going around as the walking wounded. It is time we cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the healing of our hearts. It is time to let Dad repair the damage of our past and of just living in the world. Won’t you trust Him with your heart, with your wounds? Will you reach out to receive, not only the comfort of God, but also the myriad of tools and methodologies He has provided for our healing. Bless the Lord and trust Him with your heart.