Everyone experiences, at some point in our life, times of pressure, difficult, distress. How can we find solutions that work for us in these times? How can we position ourselves to experience great comfort in times of distress. When we're in pain, out thinking is affected, and we tend to lose perspective. We then easily isolate, and turn to false comforts. The enemy of our soul likes to torment us, but God is a God of Comfort. Learn how to experience the comfort of God, the reality of His presence, and the comfort of Scriptures.
Key Verse: Romans 15:4 – “Whatever things were written before, were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.
“Whatever was written before” (speaking about the rest of the Bible) was written with a purpose in mind - for our learning “that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
One of the things that's inevitable is that, everyone experiences at some point in our life, times of pressure, difficulty, distress.
Even Jesus Himself had great distress. Jesus said: in the world you will experience tribulation, or pressures, or difficulties.
How many recognise that life is not all sweet? Lots of stuff happens that you don't like, or wish didn't happen. So what we're looking at is: how to find solutions that work for you in those times?
There are many sources of problems - you can probably add your own list to this, but let me throw out some I was thinking of...
Marriage can be a source of pressure and difficulty and pain. Family can be a source of pressure and difficulty and pain, especially when it comes to the beginning of the year - paying all the bills. Then in their teenage years... there's stresses and difficulty. So marriage, and broken friendships, can cause real pain and stress and difficulty.
Financial setbacks - how many have been through a financial pressure, difficulty, stress - and really felt something?
A criticism can be extremely distressful. Injustice can be extremely distressful; conflicts, disappointment. The list goes on.
The more you look around, the more you see that we face a whole range of things - betrayals, sickness, redundancy. Life is full of setbacks and difficulties.
The thing we also should expect: that as a believer - it's normal to have that; and as a believer - you'll have more, because you follow Jesus. How about that?
It says: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous”. However, the good news: “The Lord delivers him out of them all” - and I'm interested how the Lord delivers. I want to know how to find, and experience, the comfort of God in the midst of stress.
The Bible tells us here: “that through the comfort of the scriptures”. God has given you the Bible to produce specific things in your life: teaching, correction, reproof, and structure on how to live. But one thing it says here is: it's designed to bring comfort to you.
We need to learn how to get comfort from the Bible, and to understand a little about it. There's a reason we need comfort - we can learn how to position ourselves to experience great comfort in times of distress. In the next session, I want to share on how you can comfort others with scriptures, and we'll see that very clearly in just a moment.
So there are three reasons that I thought of, primary reasons, why we need comfort when we're in distress:
1) When your feelings are hurt - our thinking is affected, and we lose perspective. When you're in a lot of pain - it affects how you think about yourself, about God, about life, about people, about church, about government, all kinds of things.
Your thinking is affected when you're in pain, and the tendency is to lose perspective. Remember Elijah, when he got into tremendous fear and pain, he was fearful of losing his life. He totally lost his perspective. In the end he said: I'm the only one in the whole nation that's standing for God; and God had to tell him: actually there's 7000!
Notice his perspective is all screwed up - and it's messed up because of pain that he's feeling; so one of the things we have to recognise is: when you start to go through feelings of pain, it affects your perspective - how you think, and for a while you just don't think straight.