I am not afraid to admit that one of my biggest flaws is that I absolutely love to be comfortable. I think if we’re all honest, we all crave comfort to some degree. Some of my biggest comforts in this world are sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt, food, sleep, a massage, hot cocoa by a warm fire, safety, security, shelter, coffee shops, shopping, beautiful weather, my church, my fiancé, my family, my friends, my money, my grades, and my hometown. I cherish my time, my plans, my routine, and my life. All of these things are good and perfect gifts from God. I am beyond thankful for the life that God has blessed me with. These things are not bad at all. But…..I can get into trouble when I allow these things to be my first and only source of comfort. I get in trouble when these comforts hold me back from following Jesus wherever he wants to lead me. My comfort puts God in a box when I seek it before I seek Him.
It’s really easy for me to serve God when it is easy and natural, when I don’t have to go too much out of my way to do so. It’s easy to praise him when I am in a season of joy, good health, and abundant blessing. It’s easy to love others when they love me back.
When God asks me to do something uncomfortable, I often doubt him and question why he would ever ask me to do something outside of my comfort zone. It isn’t so easy to follow him when it means surrendering my plans and my time and my routine to him each day. It isn’t so fun when God calls me to love someone who has hurt me. It’s harder to praise him when I am in a difficult season, and it’s difficult to serve God when it is unnatural and goes against everything that we want to do. When he calls me through the wilderness in a season of darkness I am not so willing to volunteer.
I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing that we seek our comfort. When you think about it, it actually makes sense that God would design us to long for something that only he can give us. Sure, some things here on earth bring us temporary comfort, but the only thing that is going to bring us everlasting comfort is Jesus. We have all fallen flat on our face trying to seek joy, satisfaction, and comfort in something that just doesn’t quite do the trick. God uses our longing for comfort to teach us how to trust him even when it’s hard. When God calls us to endure something that seems like more than we can handle, he doesn’t leave us hanging out to dry. He promises to sustain us, he promises to comfort us, and he promises that we will be able to comfort other people through the comfort that he has given us. His grace is sufficient. Check out this passage of scripture:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comport those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” -2 Corinthians 1:1-7
What are the implications of this text?
- Our God is a God of compassion and comfort.
- We will have trouble in our lives; it’s inevitable. God promises to comfort us in all of the troubles we will face.
- When our trials are abundant God’s comfort abounds all the more.
- Suffering produces endurance.
- God calls us out of our comfort zones so that we may encourage other people with a hope that is only found in him.
God lovingly and compassionately is asking us to run to him when he feels far away. His comfort is unmatched and his divine will cannot be acted against or reversed. I am slowly learning that God will sustain me each day according to his will despite my level of comfort. I am at peace with the fact that this world is not my eternal home. I am comforted by the fact that I belong in the kingdom of God, that heaven is my home, and that God is sovereign in abundance and little, joy and sorrow, and life and death.