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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.”— 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 (NLT)
Finding comfort in the world today is becoming more and more difficult. In fact, if I really sit down to think about it, I’m much less likely to experience comfort than I am a full-on panic attack! Just look at the state of things: it seems tensions—racial, ethnic, political, gender, social class, religion—are at an all-time high. There is a seemingly constant stream of terrorism (both domestic and international) and widespread destruction. People seem more divided and belligerent than ever before. Even browsing through Facebook and Twitter—where videos of food, hilarious memes, and inspirational, insightful articles used to take up the majority of my feed—has become a breeding ground for comfort-less living!
But there is one place, one singular location, where comfort can be experienced; where we can bask in it and let it wash over us like a powerful waterfall. There is one place that is forever unaffected and untainted by the worries of this world. That place is in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ! Here in 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul tells us that the grace of God the Father through Christ has provided us with eternal comfort and a wonderful hope . . . the kind that can truly and totally comfort and strengthen us in everything.
The Greek word found here for comfort is paraklēsin, which means “a personal exhortation that delivers the ‘evidence that stands up in God’s court.’” It’s a term with legal, binding implications that describes an “intimate call that someone personally gives to deliver God’s verdict.” It’s used to convey the encouragement and support the Lord directly offers His children to live out His perfect will for their lives.
So when the entire world around you is crumbling, when waves of life come crashing and threaten and you feel yourself sinking, when anxiety and fear has you surrounded, remember the words of Jesus in John 6:20 (NLT): “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” The comfort we experience in Christ’s presence, when we trust in Him and put our hope (elpida) in Him, gives us full confidence and a supernatural strength to walk through this world and accomplish all the good things God has set out for us.
DIG: Do a New Testament word search for “comfort” using a Bible reference site.
DISCOVER: What kinds of things cause you to feel anxious and devoid of comfort? How are you seeking the Lord in these things?
DISPLAY: In your prayer time today, ask the Lord for His comfort, hope, and strength of Christ in those areas of your life where you feel comfort lacking.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.