Daily Comfort

“What do you see now?” he asked. I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl of oil on top of it. Around the bowl are seven lamps, each one having seven spouts with wicks.”

~ Zech 4:2

A lampstand suggests light. Every Christian should be a light-bearer. God wants us to shine. The world is dark, and we are to pour light into its darkness. Our character must shine. That means, to put it very simply, that we must be holy.

To be holy, is to be first pure in heart. A little child said she liked best of all the beatitudes, the one about a pure heart, because if she had that blessing she would have all the others too. A pure, holy, loving heart–will make a life shine. “God is love,” and we are like God just so far as we are loving. That means love to God first, and then love to all men. We are therefore to be obedient, trustful, and reverent toward God–and gentle, unselfish, patient, thoughtful, kindly and helpful toward men.

We will find that it is not always easy, to shine with love’s light. The candle wastes, burns itself up, in shining. So does life. It costs to be unselfish, patient, thoughtful, and useful. We have to be forgiving, to bear injuries sweetly, to deny ourselves and make personal sacrifices, continually, in order to be gentle, patient, and kind when others are crude to us. It costs to shine; nevertheless we are to shine. Christ gave his blessed life–to be consumed on the candlestick of divine love, to light the world.

Daily Comfort

“The Lord gave ~ and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

– Job 1:21

God’s love is the same in the brightness–and when the brightness fades into gloom. It is the same in joy–and when the joy turns to grief. It is the same when blessings are given–and when the blessings are recalled.

It does not seem so to us; we easily believe that while God showers favors upon us–he loves us; but when he gives suffering and sorrow, we almost feel that he does not love us as before. Yet it may be, that there are even richer blessings in the things which make us grieve–than in those which give us gladness. We know at least that the same love sends both. That should be comfort for us. It is always love that comes from God–in whatever form or guise it comes. We need never doubt that this is true, “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom He receives.” [Hebrews 12:6]

Daily Comfort

“A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man.”

~ Prov 12:2

It is certainly worth while to have the Lord’s favor. If we know that he is smiling upon us, we need not much mind what the world thinks. Christ’s commendation sweetens even the bitterest of unjust blame. It was very comforting for Mary when the disciples were finding fault, to have Jesus say, “She has wrought a good work.” This approval healed the hurt the disciples’ unfit words had caused.

A good man obtains God’s favor. A good man is one who loves God and does his will. The Scripture does not say a great man, a rich man, a strong man, a man of rank. If any of these were the qualification required, there would be very many people who never could obtain the divine favor; for not many of us are either great, rich, strong, or noble. The qualification is a “good” man. Goodness is within the reach of all of us. If only we are good, it matters little what our condition in other regards may be.

The other side of this proverb is also instructive: “but the LORD condemns a crafty man.” Again, it is not poverty, nor ignorance, nor commonplace condition, which misses the Lord’s favor–but a bad heart, one full of deceit, scheming, and evil designs against others. If we would have God’s favor–we must keep a sincere and pure heart.

Daily Comfort

“The Lord … who had appeared unto him twice.”

Matthew Henry says: “God keeps account of the gracious visits he makes to us, whether we do or not. He knows how often he has appeared to us, and for us, and will remember it against us, if we turn from him.” Every such gracious visit to us, adds to our responsibility for obedience and holy service.

~ 1 Kings 11:9

When Solomon had seen the Lord in vision, he should have been forever a consecrated man. The eyes which had looked upon the Lord, should never have lusted after earth’s pleasures. The hands which had fashioned a temple for God, should never have built chapels and altars for heathen deities. Solomon’s sins were far greater, because of the special favors God had granted to him. Seeing Christ should set us apart forever for holy living.

Daily Comfort

“May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me–but my hand will not touch you.”

~ 1 Sam 24:12

There are apt to be wrong views about bearing injuries. People ask, “Is there to be no justice in cases like David’s? Must we quietly bear wrong? and must the person who does the wrong never receive any punishment?” Our sense of right is sometimes so outraged, that our soul cries out in remonstrance, when we are told that we never should resent nor resist–but turn the other cheek when one cheek has been smitten. The Bible teaching is that, it is not our part to punish those who wrong us. Our clumsy hands are not skillful enough to adjust such delicate matters.

We are not required to say that a certain person’s treatment of us was right, when it was manifestly wrong–but we are to recognize the truth that the question of justice is God’s matter, not ours; that our part is to be patient and meek, leaving in God’s hands the whole adjustment of right and wrong.

Two Scripture passages help to make this plain: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19. “When reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly.” [1 Peter 2:23]

Daily Comfort

David said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say?”

~ 1 Sam 24:9

There was someone who in the dark, was stabbing David’s name. It is probable that Saul was made to believe that David was his bitter foe, and was plotting all manner of evil against him. There are people in every community who are slanderers. They go to this one and that one, and drop dark insinuations about some other person, whose shoe’s latchet they are not worthy to unloose. They come to one of two friends, and let fall some hint only that the other is not faithful as a friend, perhaps relating something in a perverted way, so as to leave an impression of faithlessness. “A whisper separates chief friends.” The ruin wrought by the slanderer in this world, cannot be computed, characters blackened, friendships broken up, jealousies aroused, homes destroyed, hearts broken. Slanderous words have measureless power for evil.

Daily Comfort

“Then David went to Jonathan and asked–What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”

~ 1 Sam 20:1

A true friend is a refuge. We all have troubles at some time. For many years we may get along quietly, and without sore trial; but the day will come to all of us–when we shall be in sorrow or danger. It may be in such an experience as David’s, when people shall misjudge us, or become our enemies without cause, and may seek to harm us. It may be sickness that comes upon us, or bereavement, or severe loss of some kind. Whatever the trouble may be, a true friend will prove a great comfort to us in the experience.

It is a blessed thing to have one friend that we are sure of, though all others fail us. We can go to him then as David went to Jonathan, telling him all our heart’s burden. Young people should seek to have a friend older than themselves, to whom they can fly in trouble or in danger, and in whose faithful love they can find a sure and safe refuge. There is a wonderful strength in the confidence that one has such a friend.

“There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. Christ is the best, strongest, wisest, truest, most helpful friend anyone can have. His friendship is a refuge indeed. We can flee to him in any danger, and find him ready always to comfort, shelter, and bless. However many human friends we may have–we all need Christ.

Daily Comfort

Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?”

~ Matt 25:37-39

True goodness is not conscious of itself. Moses did not know that his face shined. The noblest Christians put the lowest value on their own good works. No doubt many of the commendations and rewards of the righteous in the judgment, will be surprises to them. They keep no record of their own good deeds. Their own sense of personal unworthiness, hinders their seeing anything worthy in their humble services.

Besides, we do not see Christ in the lowly and the suffering ones who come before us needing our love and help; we see only poor, sick, unfortunate people, with no outshining of glory, no hints of nobility, no marks of heavenly beauty.

There is a picture which, seen in ordinary light–shows only a very poor man dying in a miserable, garret, with tokens of abject poverty on all sides; but seen in another light–it shows a throng of angels waiting to bear a child of God up to glory!

Just so, we do not see things as they are! Jesus Himself is ever before us in lowly disguise! We are unconsciously serving the Master Himself, whenever we do any humble service of love in His name. Every true Christian is preparing for himself many a blessed surprise of reward and glory–when he enters the fuller, richer life of heaven, where all the results of service, and all the fruits of kindness–shall be revealed!

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!”

~ Matthew 25:34

Daily Comfort

“Therefore the children of Israel cannot stand before their enemies.”

~ Josh 7:12

This is the only record in the Book of Joshua, of a lost battle. The word “therefore” tells us that it was a sin that caused this defeat, a secret sin, and the sin, too, of but one individual. How little do we know of the real causes of the failures we see about us!

All of us have our Ais, too, our defeats in battle; and very often they come just after our Jericho, our victories. It was only a little town, too, at which this disaster occurred, so small that it was thought unnecessary to send more than a handful of soldiers to take it.

Is it not often just so in our spiritual warfare? One writes, “Our greatest failures often happen in the little things of life. We miscalculate the strength of the foe; we fail to spy out the reserved forces. Indeed, we mistake, when we think it an easy matter to subdue any enemy. How often has it happened that he who has won his most signal victory in some great crisis of the church, who has rescued the truth from the teachers of false doctrine, or stormed the entrenchments of vice–has forthwith failed in some petty domestic disturbance, in some social duty, or in a trifling claim of common charity? If there is a time in life when we need more than ever to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation, it is in the hour of success.”

Daily Comfort

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

~ Rom 14:13

Instead of keeping our eye ever on others, looking for faults and mistakes in them–we are to look to our own example, lest something we do may hurt others’ lives, or cause them to do wrong. If everyone would do this, it would go far toward making a paradise of this world of thorns and briers. We easily get in the habit of overlooking our own faults, or imagining that we are well-near perfect, while in reality our life is full of inconsistencies. We poke at our neighbor’s eye, to pull out some little mote we imagine we see in it, while at the same time we have a great beam in our own eye which sadly disfigures us, and is a reproach to us in the sight of others! “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

The habit of judging and condemning others–is usually a great deal more serious blemish, than are the things we so glibly point out as flaws or faults. The first duty of every Christian is to make sure that he lays no stumbling-block in others’ way. It is said that Rutherford Hayes did not carry a watch. When he was a young man his watch was twice stolen, and the thief each time was arrested and imprisoned. Mr. Hayes then resolved never to wear a watch, because twice his carrying one had made a temptation for another. We may call this excessive conscientiousness–but we can scarcely overdo in this duty.