Daily Comfort

“The child sat on her lap until noon and then died.” “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said.

~ 2 Kgs 4:20, 28

The woman’s thought seems to have been, “It would have been better had I remained as I was, with no voice of love in my home, my heart unfilled with affection, than that I should know and experience the gladness of motherhood for this brief time, and then be robbed of the joy.” No doubt similar thoughts ofttimes come to those who are bereft of friends. In their deep grief, it seems to them that it would have been better if they had never had their friends at all–than to have had them a little while, to have learned to love them so, and to find such blessing in them–and then to lose them!

But Tennyson’s word is far more true:

‘Tis better to have loved and lost,

Than never to have loved at all.

Loving itself blesses us. It opens our heart and enriches our life. It teaches us the true meaning of life; for to live truly–is to love.

The taking away of our dear one–does not rob us of the blessings which loving has wrought in us. These we keep forever, though the friend is with us no more. Even if this child had not been restored to the mother in this world, she would still have kept forever the impressions and the influences which the child in its brief, beautiful years had left upon her life.

Daily Comfort

“But we prayed to our God–and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat!”

~ Neh 4:9

We are in danger of making prayer a substitute for duty; or of trying to roll over on God, the burden of caring for us and doing things for us–while we sit still and do nothing! When we pray to be delivered from temptation–we must keep out of the way of temptation, unless duty clearly calls us there. We must also guard against temptation, resist the Devil, and stand firm in obedience and faith. When we ask God for our daily bread, pleading the promise that we shall not lack–we must also labor to earn God’s bread, and thus make it ours honestly.

A lazy man came once and asked for money, saying that he could not find bread for his family. “Neither can I!” replied the industrious mechanic to whom he had applied. “I am obliged to work for it!”

While we pray for health–we must use the means to obtain it.

While we ask for wisdom–we must use our brains and think, searching for wisdom as for hidden treasure.

While we ask God to help us break off a bad habit–we must also strive to overcome the habit.

Prayer is not merely a device for saving people from toil, struggle and responsibility. When there is no human power adequate to the need–we may ask God to work without us, and in some way He will help us. But ordinarily WE must do our part, asking God to work in and through us, and to bless us through faithful obedience.

“I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me!”

~ Colossians 1:29

Daily Comfort

“He himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a juniper tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ”I have had enough, LORD,“ he said. ”Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

~ 1 Kgs 19:4

He was sorely discouraged. It seemed to him that all he had done, had come to nothing. There are few things we need more to guard against than discouragement. When once we come under its influence, it makes us weak, robbing us of our hope and making cowards of us. Many a life is discrowned and drawn down to failure, through discouragement.

It is surely a sad picture: this greatest of the old prophets lying there under the little bush, in the wilderness, longing to die! If he had died then and there, what an inglorious ending it would have made of his life! As it was, however, he lived to do further glorious work and to see great results from his contest with idolatry. God was kinder to him, than he knew.

It is wrong to wish ourselves dead. Life is God’s gift to us, a sacred trust for which we shall have to give account. While God keeps us living–he has something for us to do. Our prayer should be for grace to do our duty bravely and well unto the end. From Elijah’s after-experience, we learn that we would never be cast down by any discouraging experiences. The things we think have failed are often only slowly ripening into rich success. We have only to be faithful to God and to duty, and we may always rejoice. What seems failure–is often best success.

Daily Comfort

“He summoned the priests and Levites and gave them these instructions: Go at once to all the towns of Judah and collect the required annual offerings, so that we can repair the Temple of your God. Do not delay!” But the Levites did not act right away.”

– 2 Chr 24:5

The Levites seem to have been indifferent and negligent. No reason is given for their lack of energy–but we see its consequence. The house of the Lord remained year after year in its condition of decay, a standing dishonor to the name of God, and a reproach to those who had been commanded to repair it.

This is quite an old story; but we may take for ourselves a lesson on the sin of indolence in doing God’s work. Whatever we are bidden to do–we should do at once. Promptness is half of obedience. Procrastination is a sad sin. It takes out of life much of its power for good. It grows into a fearful habit, if it is encouraged. A boy who is slow and loitering, will always be behind time, and when he becomes a man will accomplish but little. Many men, even good men, fail to do all that they might do with their life–if only they were always prompt. They lose time, not by being idle–but by loitering, by failing to work intensely.

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

“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

“It is the Lord who judges me!”

– 1 Cor 4:4

There is a story of a young composer whose music was being performed. The audience was enthusiastic, applauding wildly as the composition was played. But the young man seemed utterly indifferent to all this applause. He kept his eye fixed intently on one man in the audience, watching every expression that played upon his features. It was his teacher. He cared more for the slightest mark of favor on his face–than for all the applause of the great company.

Likewise, in all our life we should watch the face of Christ, caring only that he should be pleased. It matters far more what he thinks of our performance, than what all the world besides thinks. If we live to win his approval, we shall not be afraid to have all our deeds laid bare at the last, before the judgment throne.

You who see my soul within,

You who know my unknown sin,

Through your holy eyes let me

Learn what sin is unto Thee.

Make me, Pure One, as you art,

Pure in mind and soul and heart;

Never satisfied with less

Than your perfect holiness.