Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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Comfort vs. Comfortable

On this cold, snowy winter day I passed a billboard that proclaimed that “Comfortman was coming.” While I presume that this is an ad for some heating company, it caused me to start thinking about comfort.

One of the first things to come to mind is the verse from Isaiah where God says, “ Comfort, comfort my people.”  In this verse, God is suggesting that His people would be comforted, in the sense that a mother comforts her child.  Because God is the Almighty and He loves his people, when God whispers, “it's gonna be alright,” to His upset child, you can take that to the bank.  Romans 8:28 is absolutely true when it says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord: those who are called according to His purpose.”  It is very comforting to KNOW that we can rely on the Lord.

However, most of the time when we talk about comfort, we are dealing with being comfortable.  This is a completely different thing.  God never promised that we would be comfortable.  He did promise us peace and contentment with our circumstances, but not comfortable circumstances.

If you take an overview of the history of the people Israel, you see a repeating pattern in which things would get comfortable for the Lord's people and they would slowly forget Him.  Then, He would bring on a crisis, like war or disease, and the people would suddenly remember that they need God

Deu 31:20 When I bring them into the land I swore to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey,
they will eat their fill and prosper. They will turn to other gods and worship them,
despising Me and breaking My covenant.

All in all, being comfortable is hard on our faith.  Jesus' statement about it being harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get to heaven is a reflection of this.  When we have everything we need, what do we need God for?

Another important aspect of comfort, is that God doesn't generally use us in our “comfort zone.”  
My experience is that God has best been able to use me in those situations that I entered into with my knees shaking.  When we are doing those tasks that we are completely comfortable with, then we have confidence that we can accomplish everything that needs done with our own strength.  It isn't God's plan for us that we work in our own strength, He wants us to depend on Him,  When we depend of Him is when the stage is set for God-sized results.  While it can be really scary to go out of our comfort-zone, the rewards can be amazing.

God doesn't call us to get comfortable in this world because we are just passing through.  Our real home is heaven.  To get comfortable here is like stopping at the gas station along the highway, taking off our shoes, changing into our lounging clothes and settling in to watch TV and munching the snacks that we find laying around.  Although the gas station may have a few characteristics in common with our homes, like snacks, it isn't our home.  While this world may have a few characteristics in common with heaven, it isn't heaven and it isn't our home.  We need to keep our focus of our real home:

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen;
 for what is seen in temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor 4:18

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