Take Comfort :: by John Lysaught

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalms 9:9).

When I get responses from the articles I write, a lot of them are accolades from people saying they needed to hear those words—just at the time it was published (glory to God). Yet I also get a lot of responses from Christians who are suffering and looking for comfort and validity from Jesus.  I need that too, in my life. Just because I can write about Christ and such, I too need comfort from Jesus.

Lately, my fibromyalgia has been flaring up very strongly. For those of you who do not understand what fibromyalgia does to people, imagine having the pains, aches, and fatigue you get from when you have had the flu. Now imagine those symptoms never going away but staying with you every day of your life. That is what fibromyalgia does to me. At times it is not so bad, it is manageable and is in the background of my daily life, but other times it is at the forefront of my life and causes great pain and suffering.

I need comfort from the Lord at these times and I seek that comfort from Him earnestly. I give it over to Jesus and pray for His will to be done. If I’m to suffer, then let it be, and if He will allow some relief, then so be it also, and for that I am truly thankful.  For some reason I have not gotten comfort and relief for the last two weeks, and I know and trust that the Lord allows this for reasons unknown to me. As Peter said:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

I must humble myself for the Lord, humble myself to His will and conditions for me. Under Him I’m still protected and loved. You, too, must humble yourself to His will. There are a lot of people out there who need comfort from Jesus. Know that He is there for you, no matter it is that you what you need comfort for.

Maybe it’s pain, maybe it’s mental health problems, maybe it’s financial or some addiction you are fighting to overcome. Know that Jesus is there for you and will hold your hand and give you the comfort you need to get through your troubles. He is with you no matter how bad things may seem and will lift you up when you fall down.

Jesus is the greatest of all in the universe, and yet He cares and loves each one of us as His own child. Take comfort and be humble in that knowledge. He is the Lord Most High and loves you as His own, more than we can ever imagine. Take time to ponder this amazing fact. Take the time to reflect that as big as the universe is: All the people who have lived before , who are alive now, and those yet to come—that each one is individually loved and cared for by the Creator of the universe.

Remember that the Lord is our strength and hope when we need comfort. He is the all in all and if you hand over your troubles to Him, you will be comforted. Will the hurt go away? Will the problems vaporize before your eyes? Maybe. Maybe not. But when you hand over your hurt and troubles to Jesus, you will feel a sense of relief in your heart and a burden lifted off your shoulders.

When I’m in pain or my bipolar causes me trouble or when my Crohn’s disease makes the bathroom my best friend, I give it over to the Lord.  I give it to the Lord, for even though I may not find relief, I do find comfort and you can too. Hand your problems to the Lord and Jesus will give you that comfort and relief in your mind and heart that you need at that moment.

We will always have hurts and troubles, but giving them to the Lord is our best avenue of approach to find comfort and relief. Giving your burdens to the Lord will also help strengthen your relationship with Jesus.  If you try to rely on yourself or others to find relief and comfort, it just isn’t enough. You may get good advice, or that hug you need, but it just isn’t the same as what Jesus can give you. The more burdens you give to the Lord, the more He will strengthen your trust in Him. He will help you along by making you stronger in your faith and hope in Him.

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16: 21-22).

For those out there who are wondering why bad things happen, why you suffer, have troubles and pain, Jesus tells us that we will grieve in this world. He says a woman having a painful childbirth forgets the pain once the baby is born. We too, will stop grieving and not feel pain, and we will stop suffering when it is our time to meet Jesus in heaven. Like the short pain of child birth, so is life itself in the perspective of eternity. Our time on earth is short and although it seems like a long time,  it is short for us—like a vapor in the wind. Birth pains that are painful and unbearable do pass (much like pain in our lives at times), but then joy comes like a new born to a new mother.

We, too, are like the woman giving birth because our troubles and burdens truly are short in the scheme of eternity. Does it feel like it is short? No, especially when we suffer, but put it in perspective and ponder this: We may grieve over our troubles and burdens now, but the joy of eternity is not afar, it is closer each and every day.  One day when we pass from this world, we will be forever joyful and will be comforted in perfection forever and ever and ever.

When you need comfort, consider this verse:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3).

Whatever trials or burdens, or pain and suffering you are facing, it is not only temporary but it also places and cements perseverance of your faith in your heart. Draw strength from the Lord. Persevere through your burdens and ills. Give it over to God, but persevere through the pain of life. Know that the Lord allows things to happen to us that don’t seem fair, things that hurt us and cause us trouble. All these things are for the purpose of turning us to Jesus for comfort, through perseverance of our hope and strength in our faith.

Look, we are going to face more and more adversity in the season of history which we are living in. Satan and the world will continue to throw things at us to question our faith. The world and Satan are trying their best to cause us discomfort and draw us away from Jesus. We may face greater and greater trials as the end comes nearer to us. What we need to do is hang on even tighter to Jesus than we ever have before. There may be great troubles in our lives, more than we can seemingly endure, but remember what Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Regardless of what is thrown at us, we can find comfort in hope. Hope is the strongest medicine and mindset that we can have to fight the world and Satan. With hope we get strength and with strength we are stronger in the Lord. Don’t lose hope because of troubles and problems you may have. Find comfort in hope.  Lean on Jesus for strength and have great hope in Him for that comfort.

Even though it is hard, take pleasure in your sufferings, I don’t mean to be happy you are hurting, but rather that you have joy in your hearts (that the trials you are facing will subside), and those trials will give you the perseverance and strength in your heart for Jesus and eternity with Him.

I know there are a lot of Christians out there facing trials in their lives. I hear from them each time I write an article, and can only guess how many more are out there are suffering. I see it in my church too, and with friends. Suffering is a great burden on us in these times in which we live. I want you to remember that Jesus is here for us to be our great Comforter. No matter what is going on in our lives, Jesus is the true Comforter, the only Comforter we need. There is no need for sadness, stress, despair, or anxiety about life when trials come, because we are Christians and have the love of Jesus on our side. He is our Protector.

Jesus will help you through trials and troubles and does not want you to give up on Him; take comfort that Jesus loves you and cares for you. Keep your eyes and hearts set on Him as you face the trials that you face now, and the greater ones that may come your way. These are tests of your faith and perseverance in Jesus. You will succeed. You will overcome. You will find strength. You will find comfort and strength in Jesus. Don’t give up on Him for He is always and forever there for you.

All Scripture is quoted from the New International Bible (NIV).