Comfort in Times of Trouble
end he said: well I'm the only one in the whole nation that's standing for God, and God had to tell him: actually there's
7000. [Laughs] So you notice his perspective is all screwed up, and it's messed up because of pain that he's feeling;
so one of the things we have to recognise is, when you start to go through feelings of pain, it affects your perspective
how you think, and for a while you just don't think straight. What you tend to do is to isolate. That's the problem, we
tend to isolate. In Proverbs 18:1, it says: he that separates, or isolates himself, seeks his own desire. In other words,
we're trying to escape from the pain, we have our own things we're trying to do, and we're isolating to survive. How
many understand that? I'm going to show you how biblical comfort addresses the core problem, not just how you feel,
but the root issue that happens, when you go through pain; and this is what it is: becoming isolated.
Church is called to be a community. The Christian faith is worked out as a community. It's not just all about you; and
God's answers, many of them are provided through the community, not just directly from heaven to you. This Lone
Ranger thing, where it's just God and me, is absolutely a fallacy; and people who get into that zone, end up isolating
themselves. It says: their heart rages against wisdom; or they don't take into account the wisdom of God. So one of
the first things is, that when our feelings are hurt and we go through pain, we tend to lose perspective; second thing
is, our sinful nature leads us to isolate. We tend to isolate, and then want to find comfort in all kinds o f unhealthy
ways: eat chocolate; [Laughter] Watch TV; alcohol, you know? The list is endless isn't it, of the ways people try to feel
better - have a smoke, got to have a smoke. Got to - I've just got to have a smoke, and the reason usually people
have to have a smoke, apart from addiction, is because they're in pain, and they need comfort, and they turn to the
So what was the solution temporarily to the problem, now created a new problem; so the person who turns to alcohol
to comfort themselves, do you feel better? Of course you do - today you do, while you're drinking, tomorrow you don't
[laughter]; and if you keep doing that, then later on you've got a huge problem with alcohol. So one of the tendencies
we have is not to follow God's process of dealing with pain. We tend to have our own way of dealing with it, and it's
quite sinful and harmful to us. People go and they seek out sexual relationships, they go into pornography, the y go
into all kinds of things to try and find a solution to pain. The sol ution is: comfort, the comfort of God. God wants to
comfort us, and you're going to see this, the whole nature of God, we're going to see in a moment, is to comfort us;
but I don't know why we just don't turn to Him.
Here's the third thing, the third reason is, because when you're in pain and distress, there is a personal devil who
seeks to torment you, and drive you into isolation. You have to understand that, the devil seeks to drive you into
isolation. Why? So he can then begin to work on your mind, and your emotions, and cause you to: feel no value,
cause you to feel distress, cause you to feel pain, tormented and to lose all hope that the future could be better.
An yone been in a deep depression any time? It's like the future looks so bleak, you can't fi nd your way forward, and
the way forward is to have hope for the future; but before you have hope, you need comfort, because the pain is real.
So we're going to talk next week about how you can use the scriptures to comfort someone, and we'll learn to comf ort
one another, because part of the comfort God gives to us, comes through the body of Christ. So there it is, three
reasons why we need comfort: number one, the first reason we need it, is because when feelings are affected, we get
to think crazy, we think wrongly, our perspective goes; two, our sinful nature, we tend to react, and do harmful things,
we isolate, and then we try to solve it in different ways; like for example Esau comforted himself. You know how he
comforted himself? As soon as dad's out of the way, I'm going to kill my brother, and he felt good about that feeling. I
know lots of people, and they're just planning revenge: you wait, you just wait, I'll get them back, I'll get them back.
They're comforting themselves in their pain, by harbouring revenge; so these are very destructive ways, and demons
I'm going to look to one other verse and then come back here, so I want you to look with me in 2 Corinthians 1:3.
Since we're going into a season of looking into the word, I want to show you how the word works to comfort us, 2
Corinthians 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all
comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the
comfort which we ourselves have been comforted by God. What's the one word that really kind of stands out there
aye? You don't have to be too smart - comfort. It turns up five times.
Okay, so the first thing to see here is, it's God's nature to comfort. Notice what it says: now the Father of mercies, and
the God of all comfort; so you know when you're coming to God, here's the first thing is you need to know: He's the
Father, or the author, of mercy. That means, He is deeply compassionate, all the time. He doesn't have: today I'm
happy and compassionate; tomorrow I'm angry, and out to get you. It's not like that. He is full of compassion. That
means, He is very tender in His heart, and when we're in trouble, He loves us, and feels tender feelings, and desire to
engage and help us; so when the Bible's using the word mercy there, it's: the Lord is incredibly compassionate. Read
how many times Jesus was moved with compassion, and so because He's moved with compassion, now He's also
called: the God of all comforts; so His nature is to comfort. His nature is to comfort. We're going to have to look what