Friday, September 28, 2007

Searching for God's Comfort

Two recommended resources about searching for God's comfort in the midst of challenging times.

First, John Piper gave this sermon at the funeral for his stillborn granddaughter. Tenderness and toughness, boldness and gentleness, all before our awesome holy God.

Second, Amy Scott writes a terrific article about how the Christian community makes it hard for people who are suffering and searching for God's comfort. (I've been on both sides of this.) She shares a few good insights:

"My immaturity prevented me from realizing that not everything needs to be said aloud—even if it is true. ... God is not afraid of our honesty. Elisabeth Elliot cautions us, “Do not be afraid to tell Him exactly how you feel (He’s already read your thoughts anyway). Don’t tell the whole world. God can take it–others can’t. Then listen for His answer. Six scriptural answers to the question WHY come from: 1 Peter 4:12-13; Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:9; John 14:31; Romans 8:17; Colossians 1:24. There is mystery, but it is not all mystery. Here are clear reasons.”

"One reason I think the Bible values age over youth is because it’s difficult to live a long life without pain, tragedy, disappointment, and hurt coming your way. Experience gives our words credence when we proclaim, “God is faithful.” II Corinthians 2:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” We see in this verse that we are God’s agents of comfort to soothe one another. He could zap us with relief, but usually, he sends others who have already walked the path of pain to walk alongside us, holding us up."

Good, maturing words for us.

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