ML-4 - Comfort From Above

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Transcript

MOTIVATIONAL LESSONS

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
mercies and the God of all comfort.”

One of the wonderful things about being a child of God is that we
have the God of comfort on our side. We all need comfort. We all need
encouragement.
The Bible records in 2 Corinthians 1:4, “Blessed be the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all
comfort who comforts us in our tribulation that we may be able to comfort
those who are in any trouble with the comfort which we ourselves received
from God.” One of the wonderful aspects of being a child of God is we have
comfort, comfort and help, from God above.
You know sometimes this world and the things that occur make us
very uncomfortable. Sometimes sin comes into our lives or to somebody
we love in their life, and it's an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes death of
a friend of a loved one of a member the Lord's body brings discomfort to
us, sickness, immorality in the world in which we live in, worldliness, all of
those things can cause Christians a great deal of discomfort. How then can
we find comfort from God in a world that is so sin stricken, and often we
feel uncomfortable living in?

Today we hope to identify the comfort Christians have from above,
that gives us hope and encouragement and that picks us up when we get
down as a child of God.
Number one, as we think about how to have comfort today, we take
comfort in the fact that there is a God of comfort. Paul said, “Blessed be the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the
God of all comfort.” Friend the fact that God exists and that God is the
source of comfort is great hope, gives great hope and encouragement to
every child of God. Think about this, we're not in it alone. “The fool says
there is no God,” Psalm 14:1. But to the child of God, we walk through this
life hand-in-hand with God. God says, “Cast all your cares on me, I care for
you,” 1 Peter 5:7. So the very fact that we have a living God is in and of
itself a great deal of encouragement.
You know I don't have to look far to know there is a God. You can
look to the beauty of the heavens and know we serve a living God. “The
heavens declare the glory of God and the earth the firmament His
handiwork,” Psalm 19:1 following. You can see by the things He's made the
invisible attributes of God, Romans 1:18-21. That that the even the
seasons and the change of the seasons, they declared to unto us the
power of God, Acts 14:17. When I look at the world around me, I'm
encouraged by knowing there is a God. I'm encouraged as I look to the
Bible to know there is a God also. The word of God itself tells us He exists.
Genesis 1:1 the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth.” When I read my Bible and I recognize this is the inspired word of
God, it tells me of God's existence that man is an in it in and of himself.
You know Christians often sing the beautiful hymn, “There is a God
He is Alive” and how encouraging it is to know we serve the living God.
What about God's existence gives us comfort? It isn't just enough to know
there's a God that exists. I want to know who that God is. As I learn about
Him, I am indeed comforted. Let me illustrate. One of the things about God
that that really comforts us, as Christians, is His unchanging nature. I can
know God, and I can know His nature. Philippians 3:10 Paul said, “I want to
know Him and the power of His resurrection.” God is a God who has
revealed himself to us. And you can know and I can know about God.

What do I know about Him? I know that God does not change.
Malachi 3:6 God said, “I am God, I change not.” Hebrews 6:18 the
Scripture says of two immutable things which God, ‘who cannot lie’ has told
us about himself. And so what do I know about God? He cannot lie. It is
impossible for God to lie, Titus 1:2 the Bible says this. You think about
comforting things about God and about Christ, Jesus is the same
yesterday, today, and forever. How does that comfort me? The unchanging
nature of God means that He can be a constant in my life and yours. He
doesn't lie. He doesn't change. He is always the same. He's that rock you
can lean on. He's that source of strength that you can always depend on as
a child of God. And that gives us great comfort to know, ‘Hey God's always
going to be there for me.’ He's never going to turn His back on us. We can
always put real trust in Him.
What else about God's nature gives us great comfort? The God we
serve, the one whom we can know, is a God of love. “God so loved the
world He gave His only begotten Son whoever believes in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life.” The Bible says while we were still without
strength in due time, “Christ died for the ungodly for scarcely for a righteous
man one die yet perhaps for a good man someone might dare to die,” but
God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:6-8. And kind of as a summary
statement, 1 John 4:8 says, God is love. When that word love is conjured
up in your mind and you think of the tenderness, you think of the care, you
think of the compassion, you think about the providing and putting others
first ,friend that's who God is. Not only does God not change, God, the God
of all comfort, is the very source of love.
I will assure you nobody has ever loved you like God loves you. I
know that because He gave His best, so that we could be saved.
What else comforts us about God's nature? Not only is God
unchanging, not only is God a God of love, God is just. Genesis 18:25 the
question is asked, “Will not the judge of all the earth do rightly?” Friend you
can take it to the bank. You can be sure God will always do the right thing.
Nahum 1:7, God will not at all acquit the wicked. John 12:48 Jesus said,
“We're going to be judged by the word of God.” You know, initially you may
think how does that give us comfort? Friend if God's going to do right, if
God is not going acquit people who live in an ungodly manner, if we have a
sure standard, and here's the good news, if the justice of God is going to

prevail and I live my life based off of this book, friend it comforts me beyond
measure to know that if I'm faithful to the Lord, one day I can hear the
words, “Well done good and faithful servant enter into the joys of your
Lord.”
Now as you think about things about God that comfort us, I want us to
also notice that our God, He promises, the God of all comfort, promises to
protect and care for His children. Listen to Psalm 23:4. The Bible says,
“Yay though I walk through the valley the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil.” Why? “For you are with me, your rod and your staff they do comfort
me.” God goes with us through the valleys, through the highs, and through
the lows. God's there. He's going to take care of us. I love the words of
Hebrews 13:5 the Lord has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you so
that you may boldly say, ‘the Lord is my helper I will not fear what can man
do to me?’” What promises do I have that offer great comfort to me? God
said to me and He said to you through His word, ‘I'll never leave you, I'll
never forsake you can boldly say, Lord's my helper.’
In our times of difficulty, in times of sadness, in times of great sorrow,
let's realize we can trust in Almighty God.
You know when I think about God and some of the things in Scripture
that offer us great comfort, one of those is found in Psalm 18:2 and that is
that the Bible promises God is going to be the protector of His children.
Listen to these words as the psalmist thinks about things no doubt that
brought great discomfort to his life, and how even at times his life was on
the line. He says in Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and
my deliverer my God, my strength in whom I will trust my shield and the
horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Who's going to protect you? God. Who is going take care of you? The
Almighty. You know friend, I need that protection. I need that help in times
of great difficulty. There are things I need protection from. I need protection
from Satan. Satan is going to do everything possible to cause us to be lost.
The Bible says, “He is a very wily and conniving individual,” 1 Timothy 3:7.
We've got to be wary of the wiles of the devil, Ephesians 6:11. In fact Jesus
said to Peter say, “Simon Simon Satan desires to have you that he may sift
you as wheat,” but listen to this, “but I've prayed for you that your faith
would not fail.”

When I think about the help I get, Jesus said in Matthew 6:6-9, we're
to pray “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” Does
it bring us comfort to know that God is able to protect, deliver, and take
care of us from Satan himself? Oh you bet it does! God's able to protect
and deliver us from sin. Sin is the great enemy of mankind. It is that which
probably more than anything else brings discomfort to our life, and yet God
can remedy that. Isaiah 59:1-2 the Bible says, “Lord's ear's not heavy,
heavy that it cannot hear. His arms not shortened, He cannot save, but
your sins and your iniquities have separated you from your God.”
That major discomfort that we feel spiritually is sin. When I have sin in
my life, when you have sin in your life, friend there's a whole lot of
discomfort spiritually that goes with that. And yet, God can take that away.
Hebrews 10:12 says, “This man, Jesus, after He'd offered one sacrifice for
sin forever sat down at the right hand of God, you will call His name Jesus.
He will save His people from their sins Matthew 1:19-21. John saw Jesus
approaching in John 1:29 he said, “Behold, look! The Lamb of God who
takes away the sins of the world.” The Scripture records so beautifully in
Psalm 103:10-12 God said, “I'll be merciful to their sins, their lawless deeds
I'll remember no more.” In Psalm 103:10 God said that He, “will not deal
with man according to his sins.” God has blessed man by offering
forgiveness.
And then as I think about sometimes of the discomfort we have in this
world, let's also realize God's promise to take care of me and the needs
that I've got physically. When we think about struggles that we face, some
of those are related to basically making our way through this life and the
things that we need. But here's the good news for the child of God, isn't it
the case that God has promised to provide for His own in the Scripture?
David said in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I'm old.” He kind of takes
a snapshot of life. “And I've never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed
begging bread.” Is God going to provide for His children? You bet He is!
Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all
these things.” What? Food, shelter, and clothing. “Will be provided for you.”
And then I love the words of Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply all your
needs in Christ Jesus.”

This is why we can rejoice, when we say, ‘every good and perfect gift
comes from above from the Father of lights, with whom there is no shadow
or variation of turning,’ how thankful we are and how much comfort it brings
us to know God's going to take care of His children.
As we think about comfort we receive from above, one of the greatest
sources of comfort is the Bible. This book, this inspired word from the
mouth of God, brings so much comfort and hope to every child of God in
their life. Let me offer you just a few passages I think which will bring
encouragement and which will bring hope and comfort to the child of God.
For example notice Psalm 119:50 the Scripture records, of God's
word, “This is my comfort in my affliction,” now watch this, “for your word
has given me life.” Where can I find comfort at? God's word brings comfort
and it enriches our life. The writer of the book of Romans, Paul said in
Romans 15:4, “The things that were written aforetime were written for our
learning,” listen now, “that we through patience and comfort of the
Scriptures might find hope.” Your word has given me comfort. I can find
comfort in the Scriptures.
Now you just think about some of the passages in the Bible, and
maybe you might mention others, but here are some that I think really
ought to encourage every child of God.
Philippians 4:13 would be at the top of that list. The Bible says, “I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Bible does not say I
can do all things period.’ That's not what it reads. The Bible says, “I can do
all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I gain strength through
Christ, through His life, through His example, through the power of His
word, to live as God wants me to. I gain strength by knowing God said, “I'll
never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5-7. Jesus said, “Lo I'm with
you always, even to the in the age.” I'm not in this alone. You're not in the
fight alone, the fight, the good fight of faith; we don't have to do that by
ourselves. God and Christ are there to help us.
A second group of passages that I believe offers a great deal of hope
to every child of God relates to and the comfort it brings to us as it relates
to the beauty of heaven. Jesus spoke to His disciples who were who had
on their mind the fact that He was going to have to leave them. Jesus had
told them on multiple occasions, ‘I'm about to have to leave. I'm about to

have to die. I'm about to go back to the Father.’ And He knew their heart
was a dismayed about that, knew they were in discomfort because of that,
Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also
in me, in my Father's house are many mansions, were not so I would've
told you.” And then He said this, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go
to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to myself that
where I am there you may be also.”
What brings comfort to every child of God, especially as it relates to
death or sickness or loss? The fact that that's not the end, the fact that
that's not the final curtain falling that we have a home promised with God in
that beautiful place called heaven, that place where Scripture says God will
wipe away every tear from their eyes. No more sorrow, no more death, no
more crying, no more pain, all the former discomforts of this life cease to
exist in that place. This is why Paul would say in 1 Thessalonians 4:18,
“That in in view of the fact that Christ is going to come and receive us to
himself, therefore comfort one another with these words.”
You know when I think about comfort and the comfort that the child of
God can receive, there's a set of passages that deal specifically with the
comfort we receive with the death of a Christian, two in particular that I
want to direct your attention to today.
In Revelation 14:13 the Scripture says, “Blessed are the dead, Write
says, the Lord blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Yes says the spirit
that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.” What
about when you lose a parent? What about when you lose a fellow brother
or sister in Christ? What about you lose someone close to you? “Blessed
are the dead who die in the Lord, they may rest from their labors their
works do follow them.” Even in death there's a comfort that that's a blessing
for the child of God.
The second passage that goes directly with that is Psalm 116:15. If
you haven't got this written down or circled in your Bible, you sure ought to.
The Bible says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
I receive comfort and encouragement by knowing that when we stand at
the graveside, when we stand at the coffin of a funeral. How does heaven
look at one of God's children coming home? “Precious in the sight of the
Lord is the death of His saints.” Not a bad thing from heaven's perspective.
What a wonderful day that is!

And then just from the day-to-day trials and difficulties that we have a
passage that often brings comfort is found in Psalm 23. You remember the
words, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want He makes me to lie down
in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my
soul. Yea I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I'll fear no evil.”
Friend when you think about that whole host of verses in Psalm 23, the one
overpowering emphasis is God's the good Shepherd. He's going to take
care of His own, whether it be food, whether it be water, whether it be
suffering, whether it be the things we need in this life, God's going to take
care of us. And thus the psalmist would say, “I'll dwell in the house of the
Lord forever.”
Since God is the God of all comfort, who can take care of us, let's
make sure we stay faithful unto God.
Then I'm reminded of this passage that brings so much comfort to
every child of God and, especially because from time to time in our life we
have and we may make mistakes. We may sin in the future, here's one of
the comforts we have, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ cleanses
us of all sin,” 1 John 1:7. If after becoming a child of God, I sin and I fall
short or I do something that I shouldn't do, is it all over then? No. I can
make a determination to repent of that to confess it to turn from it, 1 John
1:8-10, and the blood of Christ still can cleanse us of all sin. Hebrews 8:13
God says, “I'll be merciful to their sins, their lawless deeds I'll remember no
more.”
You know when I think about the help we have, when I think about
how good it is to be a Christian, and how wonderful I have it in Christ, I
reminded of 1 John 4:4. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the
world.” Yes we're fighting Satan, yes we're fighting sin, yes there are
struggles, yes there are difficulties that that each of us have to deal with,
but let's realize the one who is in us, God and Christ, who are in us, are
greater the one who is in the world thanks be to God, gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now I want to draw one more idea out that will really help us to have
comfort in this life. It's a very simple and basic principle, if I'm to find
comfort in this life, I've got a realize contentment brings comfort.

Listen to Philippians 4:11 Paul said, “Not that I speak in regard to
need for I've learned in whatever state I am to be content.” You really want
to find comfort in this life? You really want to have the peace and tranquility
and satisfaction that the Scripture promises? You’ve got to learn to be
content. Paul said, “I've been abased and I've been abound I've learned be
content in whatever state I'm in.” We can't let this world pull us in so much
that we're never happy and comfortable. Be comfortable where you are. If
God gives you more that's good; if God takes away, I can learn to deal with
that as well. I just need to learn to be content in this life.
The most important things we have are not the things of this world;
they're the spiritual things that we have.
A rich young ruler came to Jesus. And here's a man who you can tell
is in a really difficult struggle, he's in a state of discomfort, “Good teacher
what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “Keep the
commandments: do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, honor
your father and mother.” “All these things I've done since my childhood.”
“One thing you lack, sell what you have, give to the poor come follow Me.”
the Bible says that man went away sorrowful. Why? He had great
possessions. Don't let the cares of this world bring discomfort to you
spiritually, because you're not putting Jesus first.
When I think about the real purpose and the real aim of life, I'm
reminded of what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. Solomon said,
“Let us hear the conclusion the whole matter. What's life all about? Fear
God, keep His commandments this is the whole duty of man.” Why? ‘God
will bring into judgment, will bring the judgment every work including every
secret thing, whether good or bad.’ My life and serving God, those are the
things that are really important, looking toward heaven and making sure
that we really strive to do the things God wants us to.
Let's each realize as part of the comfort we have, is the hope of
heaven. Do we really stay focused on heaven, that one day I can leave this
life and go to a place that is far better than we can ever begin to imagine?
You know we often sing songs, “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” or
“Heaven Holds All to Me” or that “Paradise Valley”, you know if I going to
be comforted, I've really got to keep that on my mind. That this world is

temporary, the things that I face are temporary, and the difficulties we deal
with, those are only temporary. Heaven is what it's all about.
Remember Paul saying again Romans 8:18, “I consider the sufferings
of this present world are not worthy to be compared with the glory which
shall be revealed in us.” Paul in essence said heaven will be worth it all.
And so, do we have the God of all comfort on our side? Absolutely!
Let's be encouraged, let's be comforted, and let's do everything we
can to make sure we get to that beautiful place of comfort, heaven itself.

Study Questions for: “Motivational Lesson 4”
1. According to 2 Corinthians 1:4, ‘God is the Father of mercies and the
God of all what?’

2. What does the fool say according to Psalm 14:1?

3. What does God tell us to do with our cares in 1 Peter 5:7?

4. What did Paul say he wants to know in Philippians 3:10?

5. According to Malachi 3:6, does God change?

6. According to Titus 1:2, does God lie?

7. While we were sinners, what did Christ do for us according to Romans
5:6-8?

8. According to 1 John 4:8 God is what?

9. What are we going to be judged by according to John 12:48?

10. Why should we fear no evil according to Psalm 23:4?