Daily Comfort

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace!”
~  1 Sam 16:4-5

God’s messengers do not all wear gentle faces; ofttimes they come in a garb of sternness. Yet they come always with a blessing. Sickness is one of these dark-visaged prophets. We cannot welcome it. Yet if we ask this messenger, “Do you come in peace?” the answer is, “Yes, in peace.” Sickness always brings messages of peace, of good–if only we have grace to receive them.

The same is true of all the hard trials of life. We would rather have easy times. Boys and young men who are poor, think ofttimes that they have scarcely a fair chance in life, when they see the sons of rich fathers reveling in luxury, with plenty of money. Yet really the stern prophet of poverty brings ofttimes a holier message and a richer, truer blessing–than the smiling-faced, silken-robed messenger brings to the youth in the fine mansion.

The best things in life, can be developed only by work and discipline. Hence, whatever compels a boy or a young man to toil, to deny himself, to make strenuous efforts–is a blessing to him. The ‘prophet of necessity’ therefore comes to him peaceably. We should never turn from our doors any prophets which God sends, however stern they may appear. They all come with a good message.

Daily Comfort

“Whatever is born of the flesh–is flesh; and whatever is born of the Spirit–is spirit.” 
~ John 3:6

Like produces like. To be born of the Spirit–is to have a new life imparted by the Spirit. This new life will be like that which produces it. Everyone who is born of God–will have some features of God’s likeness. He will love the things that God loves, and hate the things that God hates. In some measure, he will be like God . . .  
in holiness,  
in unselfishness,  
in gentleness,  
in patience,  
in forgiveness,  
in truthfulness,  
in love.

If we would know what God is like–we have only to look at Jesus Christ, for He was the image of God; and if we are born again, we shall have the same features in our lives! They will be dim at first; but they will come out clearer and clearer each day, as we grow in grace.

We can tell whether or not we are born again–by looking closely at ourselves to see if we have the marks of the Spirit in our life. Do we hate sin? Do we love holiness? Do we love the Bible and prayer, and fellowship with the Lord’s true people?

We have the same thought presented by Paul under the figure of the seal of the Holy Spirit. All Christians are sealed by the Spirit. The seal impresses its own features on the wax. So the Holy Spirit seals believers–by stamping His own image on their hearts. Those who have received the Spirit–will bear the marks of His beauty in their lives!

Daily Comfort

“He heals the brokenhearted–and binds up their wounds!”
~ Ps 147:3

It is said that when one branch of a tree is bruised, the whole tree begins to pour of its life toward the wounded place, to restore it. It is in this manner, that Christ heals His people when bruised by sorrow. “Blessed are those who mourn–for they shall be comforted.”

There are fields where once fierce battles raged, great armies contended, and blood flowed–but where now the birds sing sweet songs, in summer days flowers bloom, meadows are green with waving grass, and ripening harvests bend. So there are homes where once sorrow’s dark clouds hung, tears flowed, and cries of grief were heard–but where now joyous songs ring out, and glad faces smile. God’s comfort has healed the brokenhearted home.

There are many ways in which God restores sorrow’s devastation. He sends new blessings instead of the old ones, which he took away, as new flowers come in place of those that fade. He hides a blessing, too, in the very heart of the sorrow itself!

Grief is like the cloud which comes with its dark portents, into the blue summer sky. It blots out the blue, and fills the air with terrors. The lightnings flash, the thunders roll; but out of the bosom of the blackness–pours the soft rain. So sorrow’s cloud comes with dark, portentous aspect; but it empties blessings upon the life, thus carrying in itself–its own power of restoration.

Daily Comfort

“The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!”
~ Exod 16:8

Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .  
about the hard winter,  
about the late spring,  
about the dry summer,  
about the wet harvest?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .  
about the frosts,  
about the drought,  
about the high winds,  
about the storms?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .  
about my circumstances,  
about the hardness of my lot,  
about my losses and disappointments?

If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speak–would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

“I tell you this–that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!” 

~ Matthew 12:36

“He who complains of the weather–complains of the God who ordains the weather!”

~William Law

Daily Comfort

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. So the people crossed over.”
~ Josh 3:15-16

God does not open paths for us in advance of our coming. He does not promise to help before help is needed. He does not remove obstacles out of our way before we reach them. Yet when we are on the edge of our need God’s hand is stretched out to help us.

Many people forget this, and are forever worrying about difficulties which they foresee in the future. They expect that God is going to make the way plain and open before them, miles and miles ahead; whereas he has promised to do it only step by step as they move on.

There is a Scripture promise which reads: “When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you.” You must get into the deep waters before you can claim this promise. Many people dread death, and lament that they have not “dying grace.” Of course they will not have dying grace when they are in good health, in the midst of life’s duties, with death far in advance. Why should they have it then? Grace for duty is what they need then living grace; then dying grace when they come to die. When their feet are dipped in the brim of Jordan, the torrent will sink away!

Daily Comfort

“Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness  to the one side–and light to the other side.”
~ Exod 14:20

God appears different to his friends and to his enemies. To his own people he is light, comfort, joy, protection, and gladness; but to those who reject him–he is darkness, dreadful terror, and stern judgment. The thought of God’s presence, fills the Christian with confidence and peace, with the warmth of love; but the same thought makes the unreconciled sinner tremble! “I thought upon God, and was troubled.”

The providence of God, too, has this same double aspect. The Christian sees God’s love everywhere. He sees his Father’s hand ordering all things with loving wisdom. When he cannot understand, he can trust and wait in confidence. But to the unreconciled man, the same providence is a dark mystery, full of dread and alarm. He has no sense of safety anywhere he may go. There is no assurance of protection, no consciousness of God’s love, anywhere in the universe for him.

Death to the ungodly is a heavy cloud, charged with lightnings and thunders; but to the Christian it is a glorious blaze of divine love pouring brightness and peace all about his bed.

It will be the same on the day of judgment. To his own people, Christ on his throne will be all glorious, and his appearance will give unspeakable joy; but to the ungodly, his presence will be an appearance of the most appalling terror!

Daily Comfort

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jer 29:11

It is better that we should not know our future. If we did, we would often spoil God’s plan for our life. If we could see into tomorrow, and know the troubles it will bring, we might be tempted to seek some way of avoiding them, while really they are God’s way to new honor and blessing. God’s thoughts for us–are always thoughts of love, good, promotion; but sometimes the path to the hilltop lies through dark valleys or up rough paths. Yet to miss the hard bit of road is to fail of gaining the lofty height. It is better, therefore, to walk with God, not knowing the path ourselves, than it would be to see the way and choose for ourselves. God’s way for us–is always better than our own.