Good Afternoon Harvesters,
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.”- 1 John 2:15 NIV
Whether we’re stressed, hurt, tired, lonely, or just bored, we all find ourselves at times chasing comfort. Who hasn’t overspent, overeaten, overslept, overdrunk, and overestimated the ability of stuff to actually deliver lasting comfort?
The word “comfort” has its own history. It comes from two Latin word parts, com-, which means “together with,” and fortis, which means “strong or strength.” Later, the Latin word confortare came to mean “to strengthen much.”
Eventually, an Old French word, conforter, added words like “solace” and “help” to the definition. In the 14th century, another French word conforten was defined as “to cheer up, console.”
Finally, by the 17th century, the English version of the word began to imply the sense of physical ease that we understand today. That means that this word that used to mean "together-strength," to meaning "pain-barrier."
So let me ask, Do you see God as your strength, together with you in the midst of pain, or as your barrier from pain?
The prophet Isaiah foretold of a Messiah who would enter our world to be wounded for our transgressions and suffer for our healing. If the very nature of our faith is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then let us consider His response to pain. In 1 Peter 2:21-25, we see a Savior who accepted pain quietly despite having done nothing to earn it. Jesus does not avoid pain or look for a scapegoat; He comes into our world and makes our pain His pain.
Jesus is together-strength. Then, before He goes back to be with the Father, He promises us that the Holy Spirit —a “Comforter”—would not only be together with us, but in us!
So, let's not just get stuck or jump back on the treadmill of life pursuing after the worldly version of comfort--bingeing on the next series online or with our good old friends of "comfort" food. Instead, let's pursue comfort from the REAL comforter, the Holy Spirit, knowing that it doesn't mean a pain-free life but comfort in the middle of our pain.
Have a great rest of the week and look forward to seeing you Sunday as we begin a new series on dealing with the things Jesus did NOT say.
Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene