Daily Comfort

The third time He said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter replied, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You!”

~ John 21:17

You look into your life today and what do you see there? Failures, broken purposes, promises not kept, commandments violated, purity stained, everything sullied! Jesus comes and looks into your face, with that calm, holy, searching gaze of His, and says, “Do you love Me?” As you are about to answer, you think of all you have done that has been dishonorable and sinful. You are speechless before Him. Yet you are conscious that you do love Him; that in your heart, beneath all your sins, failures, and faults–there is love for Him. What a comfort it is to cast yourself on His knowledge of what is in you! Perhaps men sneer, and say that one who has stumbled as you have done–surely cannot love Christ. But Christ knows the love, even amid the sins and failures.

I am glad that perfection is not the test of discipleship. We may be full of faults. We go on stumbling every day. We do nothing beautifully. We misrepresent the Christ whose name we bear. We hurt the friends we want to help.

Christ knows all these sad failures. He looks at the stained scroll we fold up at the close of the day–with the blots on it. But while He sees the worst, He sees also the best; and He loves on loves unto the uttermost! “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You!”

Daily Comfort

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!”

~ Matt 27:46

There is a picture which represents the after-scenes on that day of the crucifixion. It is all over. The crowds have gone away. The evening sun is shining out again on Calvary. The body of the Savior has been borne to the sepulcher. The cross has been taken down, and lies on the ground. A company of little children, bright with the glow of childhood’s innocence, led to the place by accident or curiosity, are seen bending over the signs of the day’s terrible work. One of the children holds in his hand a nail which a little time before, had pierced a hand or a foot of the patient Sufferer, and stands spellbound with horror as he gazes at it. His gentle heart is shocked at sin’s dreadful work! On all the children’s faces, the same expression of horror is depicted.

No one with pure and gentle heart, can ever look at the death of Christ on the cross–with any but feelings of amazement and horror at sin’s awfulness!

It was sin that nailed Jesus on the cross!

It was sin that wreathed the circlet of thorns for his brow!

We say the Jews crucified Christ; yes–but WE helped to do it!

Our sins drove the nails!

Would you see what sin is? Stand by the cross and ponder its terrible work, there in the death of the Redeemer. See what it cost the Lamb of God, to take away sin!

Daily Comfort

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.”

~ Mark 14:8

Many people would have kept the jar of perfume until Jesus was dead, and would then have broken it to anoint his cold body. At least, that is the way too many of us do in these days. We wait until our friend dies and then send our flowers and speak our words of appreciation. Should we not learn a lesson from Mary? The kind words we mean to speak when our friends are dead let us speak while they can hear them! The flowers we mean to send for their coffin let us send to brighten the rough paths for their feet. The epitaphs we mean to put upon white marble let us carve in deeds of gentle love while our friends are with us. Words of cheer today are what people crave.

“Withhold all eulogies when I am dead,  
All noisy sorrow;  
Give me the tender word today  
Instead of tears tomorrow.”

Daily Comfort

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

~ John 9:2-3

Are troubles sent to punish us for our sins? The people in Christ’s day thought so. But Jesus gave a different explanation. He said the man was blind–that the works of God should be displayed in his life. His blindness led him into contact with Jesus–and thus brought him a double blessing, the opening of his natural eyes, and the opening of his soul’s eyes. Probably he would never have met Jesus–but for his misfortune of blindness. If he had not been blind, this miracle of his healing would never have been wrought!

A great many revealings and blessings come through troubles. Jesus said the sickness of Lazarus was for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. No doubt every sickness is an opportunity for a blessing of some kind, both to the person who is sick and to his friends. Every loss we have, is meant to be the revealing to us of a gain which would more than make compensation. Every disappointment in our life, is intended to give us a better thing than that which we have failed to get.

Daily Comfort

“After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said–Now that my servant Moses is dead–you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.”

~ Josh 1:1-2

Sorrow came to you yesterday–and emptied your home. Your first impulse now is to give up and sit down in despair amid the wrecks of your hopes. But you dare not do it. You are in the line of battle, and the crisis is at hand. To falter a moment, would be to imperil some holy interest. Other lives would be harmed by your pausing. Holy interests would suffer–should your hands be folded. You must not linger even to indulge your grief. Sorrows are but incidents in life, and must not interrupt us. We must leave them behind, while we press on to the things that are before.

Then God has so ordered, too, that in pressing on in duty–we shall find the truest, richest comfort for ourselves. Sitting down to brood over our sorrows, the darkness deepens about us and creeps into our heart, and our strength changes to weakness. But if we turn away from the gloom, and take up the tasks and duties to which God calls us–the light will come again and we shall grow stronger!

Daily Comfort

“Then the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.”

~ Job 2:3

It is a noble thing, when a man stands steadfast and faithful to God in the midst of trials and adversities. Such a man is like a mighty rock under the beatings of the angry waves of the sea.

Thus Job stood. Trial after trial came. His property was swept away by marauders and by fire, and his children were crushed by falling walls, until in a little while he was stripped of all he had, and left a childless man! His heart was broken with sorrow–but his faith failed not. The Lord kept his eye upon his servant, and was pleased to see how trustingly he endured his losses and sorrows.

The affliction of Job, as described here from the divine side, suggests to us, what may ofttimes be the reason for trouble in the lives of God’s children. Job suffered in order to prove to a scoffing adversary, the genuineness of his religion. Job did not know why these sore losses came upon him. Likewise, we do not know, when we are in trouble, why God sends or permits the affliction. But we should always bear ourselves so as to honor God, and prove the reality and sincerity of our faith. We are set to witness to the power of divine grace in trial, and should not fail God nor disappoint him. No duty of ours is more sacred than being true to God in pain and trouble. To murmur or complain is to sin.

Daily Comfort

“You are my hiding place.” 

~ Ps 32:7

God is a hiding-place from all sorts of dangers. He is a hiding-place from sin. His mercy is an eternal refuge. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”

God is a refuge from trouble. “God had one Son without sin–but he has none without sorrow.” Where shall we go to get away from sorrow? There is no place on earth into which it never enters, no Eden bower, no Paradise, where grief never, comes. But there is a hiding-place to which sorrowing ones can flee, and where they will find comfort that shall give them peace. “In the world you shall have troubles; in Me you shall have peace,” said Jesus. The sorrow may not be shut out–but the divine peace comes into the heart and calms it. Sorrow is seen then, as God’s messenger of love, sent by him on some good errand, and is accepted in faith. So in the pain and loss–there is no more fear. The sufferer has found a hiding-place in God.

God is a hiding-place from danger. In the wildest terrors and alarms–we can run to Him, and, lying down in his bosom, be safe. A Christian sailor said that even if his ship went down into the sea–he would be safe; for God holds the waters in the hollow of his hand, and he would only fall into his Father’s hand.

Daily Comfort

“If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!”

~  Exod 16:3

It is a sad thing when we allow life’s disappointments to make us despondent! The problem of Christian living in this troublesome world, is not to escape experiences of hardship–but to retain sweetness of spirit in all such experiences.

You must have hardships, losses, sorrows. But see to it that you retain through all these–a gentle heart, full of trust and hope. Then when the harsh adversity is past–you will emerge unharmed, with even richer life, tenderer beauty, and deeper joy! The secret of such victorious living–is a trust in God which never fails.

Daily Comfort

“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me word.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from his home in the valley of Hebron.

~ Gen 37:14

Joseph left his home in good spirits. We can imagine his good-by as he set out. The family would see him off, expecting him to fare well and to return again in good time. Not one of them dreamed that it would be twenty years before they should see his face again! If they had imagined this, then their parting that morning would have been very tender.

We never know when we say farewell at our door to the friends we love, as they or we go out for a time, that we shall ever see them again. We should always say good-by, even for the briefest parting, with thoughtfulness and with love’s warmth, for we may never clasp hands with them any more.

Daily Comfort

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”

~ Heb 13:8

We leave many things behind us, as we go on. We can never go back again over the closing year. We never go over any life-path a second time. We never pass a second time through any experience. We have infancy once, childhood once, youth once, manhood and womanhood once, old age once, and we die once. We are forever leaving things, places, conditions, and experiences behind us. But through all these, we have the same Christ, unchanged, unchanging.

The Christ of childhood and of youth remains the Christ of manhood and of old age. Whatever changes the years bring to us–we must ever keep our eyes on the living Christ. He will always be all we need. There will never be a path which he cannot find for us and show us. There will never be a dark valley which he cannot light up for us. There will never be a battle which he cannot fight for us. There will never be an experience through which he cannot safely take us. We are leaving the old year behind, but we are not leaving Christ in the dead year. We need not be afraid, therefore, to go forward, if we go with him. We have not passed this new way before, and it is all strange to our inexperience; but Christ knows and he will guide us, and all will be well–if we put our hand in his.