VIDEO God Is Good!: Comfort

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. John 14:16

When we are facing a crisis, one of the most comforting things we can hear a friend say is, “Don’t worry. I can walk you through the solution. I’ll be right over.” What would you call such a person? A friend? A guide? A counselor? A comforter? Or perhaps all of those terms would be appropriate.

All those terms can be applied to the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to send to His followers—as expressed in the Classic Amplified Bible’s translation of John 14:16: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.” The Greek word for “Comforter” is parakletos, one called alongside to help, comfort, strengthen, encourage, or counsel. When a friend, or the Holy Spirit, does those things for us, the net result is comfort; we are comforted in our moment of need.

Because God is good, He gives us the gift of comfort. Let the Holy Spirit comfort you through the patience and truth found in God’s Word (Romans 15:4-5).

There is comfort in the fact that God can never be taken by surprise. Frank Gabelein


John 14:16 – Scripture Twisting 101

Living Well

Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2

Free funerals for the living. That’s the service offered by an establishment in South Korea. Since it opened in 2012, more than 25,000 people—from teenagers to retirees—have participated in mass “living funeral” services, hoping to improve their lives by considering their deaths. Officials say “the simulated death ceremonies are meant to give the participant a truthful sense of their lives, inspire gratitude, and aid in forgiveness and reconnection among family and friends.”

These words echo the wisdom given by the teacher who wrote Ecclesiastes. “Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). Death reminds us of the brevity of life and that we only have a certain amount of time to live and love well. It loosens our grip on some of God’s good gifts—such as money, relationships, and pleasure—and frees us to enjoy them in the here and now as we store up “treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).

As we remember that death may come knocking anytime, perhaps it’ll compel us to not postpone that visit with our parents, delay our decision to serve God in a particular way, or compromise our time with our children for our work. With God’s help, we can learn to live wisely.

By:  Poh Fang Chia

Reflect & Pray

What changes will you make in your life today as you think about death? How can you be more conscious about death amid the hustle and bustle of life?

Loving God, help me to remember the brevity of life and to live well today.

To learn more about what happens after death.

Relying on Our All-Sufficient God

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Have you ever felt the shame of inadequacy? It’s humiliating when others see that you’re ill-equipped for a task or lacking in knowledge on an issue. That hardly sounds like a positive thing, but it can be a blessing if you respond the right way.

Let your inadequacy drive you to God. Spend time in prayer and pour out your heart to Him. Draw comfort from His Word as you’re reminded of His care for you. He hasn’t abandoned you. On the contrary, God is using this humbling process to teach you two important lessons: to trust Him to work through your weakness and to depend on the power of His Holy Spirit.

Insufficiency reminds us to stop trying to do God’s will in our own strength. If we proceed down the path of self-sufficiency, we’ll become overwhelmed and burdened. But when we admit our inadequacies to God, the burden is lifted and we discover the contentment that comes with a dependent, trusting heart.

The Lord is sufficient for every need, and His strength is demonstrated in our weakness. If there’s an area in our life that we’re trying to manage on our own, let’s remember to relinquish control and depend humbly on the Lord. We can depend on Him to make us adequate.  

This Generation

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:34)

This exciting prediction by Christ climaxes His great prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives. He had given His disciples the signs they had requested, then discussed the coming great tribulation and finally His glorious return in the clouds of heaven. And “all these things” were to be fulfilled before “this generation” would pass away.

And what generation would that be? Many commentators have taken it as the Jewish “race,” but that would be redundant since many other passages had already promised that the nation of Israel would never pass away (Jeremiah 31:37-40; etc.). Furthermore, the Greek word for “generation” (genea) is never used elsewhere for any meaning but that of a particular age generation. A similar word genos sometimes means “stock” or “kind,” but never genea.

Thus, the generation that Christ was predicting probably meant the generation that would see the events He had prophesied. “When ye shall see all these things,” He said, “know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). What are some of “these things”? World wars, accompanied and followed by “earthquakes in divers places,” as well as “famines, and pestilences” (v. 7), worldwide spread of the gospel witness (v. 14), many false Christs and false prophets (v. 24), widespread wickedness and spiritual indifference as in the days of Noah (vv. 37-39), and the budding of the fig tree, Israel (v. 32).

The word for “this” in verse 34 is the demonstrative adjective, so Christ seems to be referring to “that” generation which sees “these things begin to come to pass.” That generation will see all these things fulfilled! To that generation He says: “Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). HMM

Your Word Is Righteous

TSADE

You are righteous, Lord, and Your judgments are just. The decrees You issue are righteous and altogether trustworthy. My anger overwhelms me because my foes forget Your words. Your word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it. I am insignificant and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts. Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your instruction is true. Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but Your commands are my delight. Your decrees are righteous forever. Give me understanding, and I will live (Psalm 119 vv. 137-144).

The psalmist is filled with deep love and reverence for the law. Because the Lord is righteous, his Word is also folly trustworthy. The Lord’s promises are fully reliable because they have been thoroughly tried, tested, and proven.

But all is not well here. The psalmist is almost worn out with zeal. His enemies ignore the Word of God. He is feeling lowly and despised. Arnold Schoenberg said, “Dissonances are more difficult to comprehend than consonances.” Horace labeled it “harmony in discord.” The psalmist is alluding to the “discordant harmony” of his existence.

But his depression cannot obliterate his memory of the law. Continual trouble and distress do not snatch away his ingrained delight in the Lords commands, No matter how lonely or how oppressed he feels, God’s Word stands unaffected.

What a comfort to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Word of God is absolutely trustworthy and reliable! May we not let technological change, moral relativism, scientific advances, or intellectual pride rob us of our confidence in God’s eternal Word!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, I praise you and thank you for your flawless Word!

Patience and Kindness

God’s chosen ones … put on … kindness … and patience.—Colossians 3:12

The fourth fruit of the Spirit listed by Paul is patience. The King James Version uses the word “longsuffering.” Someone has suggested that longsuffering is “love stretched out.” It is so elastic and tough that it doesn’t break up into impatience. It maintains a patient attitude amidst the flux of human events.

Patience, however, must not be confused with indifference. One group of people in ancient history—the Stoics—made indifference a virtue. Some people in the early centuries of the church tried to Christianize this characteristic, but it couldn’t be done. A Christian is someone who cares. Because we care, we suffer, but in the midst of suffering, we discover the Spirit’s enabling patience.

A woman, after finding Christ, went through a time of great persecution from her family. She said, “I have never been a patient woman, but since Christ and the Holy Spirit came into my life, He has turned me upside down and inside out. I always had to have the last word, but my last word is silence.” Now, whenever she says something, her family listens, because she speaks out of the depth of silence. The Amplified Bible presents Galatians 5:22 as, “But the fruit of the … Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … patience.”

The next fruit is kindness. This may seem a very ordinary virtue, but yet, without it, the other virtues are incomplete. It is not by chance that this virtue is in the middle of the nine, for it puts flavor in all the others.

Prayer

Father, I want all the other virtues to be flavored with kindness, so that the spirit of kindness pervades everything I do and everything I am. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

1Th 1; Rm 5:3; 12:12; Lk 21:19; Jms 1:4

How did Paul relate patience to tribulation?

In what did Paul rejoice?

Dark Days

Romans 5:3-5

Jesus Christ said, “In the world you will have tribulation,” (John 16:33 KJV) while Paul assures us that “All who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)

When you are a sufferer, when your burden of care and trouble increases, think upon the following. God has promised to support you in your trials while you walk in the light; that is, while you do His blessed will. Some of the most beautiful and precious passages to be found in the Bible describe the consolation He promises to His soldiers while they are battling with the difficulties, persecutions and sufferings of life.

He promises you the comfort of His presence. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you” (Isaiah 43:2 KJV).

He promises you victory. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV).

Tribulations are intended for your profit. “All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28 KJV). Rightly accepted, they will promote your holiness and usefulness, and help you to understand the struggle for the welfare of those around you. What is more, they strengthen faith and help the formation of that character which God desires His children to possess.

Dark days strengthen the soul. Perpetual and uninterrupted sunshine, soft and genial weather, make weak men and women. Frost and gloom and darkness make hard and vigorous people.

Dark days are instructive. There is no place like the school of adversity for teaching wisdom.

Dark days drive the soul to God. Nothing succeeds in throwing a man back upon his Maker like affliction.

Dark days increase the brightness of the bright days that are to come. What a magnificent background the sorrows of earth will form to the joys of heaven! How the tears and pains and crosses of this life will set off and render more glorious the songs and crowns and glories of the skies!

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion, No. 2