April 21, Friday

 

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently serving as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston) while pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  He is married to Cindy and they are proud parents of Audrey.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“God of All Comfort”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

I recall a few months ago, shortly after my daughter Audrey was born, there were some nights where nothing would comfort her: Try to get her to sleep? Didn’t work. Try to put her in the baby swing? Didn’t work. Bouncer? Again, nope. She kept crying and crying. The only thing that kept her from crying was holding her and pacing around the floor. In those moments, I felt defeated, like I was unable to comfort my own daughter.

Aren’t we like that sometimes? Not like the father, but like the crying baby? We complain and complain to God about this or that, wondering why He won’t answer our prayers. We can wonder in those moments if God even cares. But what does our passage for today tell us about God? He is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction.” Though, maybe, He won’t answer a specific prayer, we can be assured that He will always hold on to us – He will never let go. He will give us comfort, because He is the God of all comfort.

Today, come to God. Bring your requests – though he may not answer them right away – we can trust that He will comfort us. He will surround us with His presence and show His love to us. He is a faithful Father, One who holds onto us even as we cry, complain, and try to push Him away. He never lets go. That’s the love of our Father!

And with that love of the Father in us, let’s remember that we can comfort others: “We may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” So, while the comfort of God lifts us up, let’s then turn to lift others up with that same comfort.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are the God of all comfort. So often do we complain and throw tantrums around You, but still You are faithful and will never leave us. Thank for Your unfailing, never-ceasing love and comfort for us. Give us today this comfort, as we go through the afflictions of life. We need Your loving presence in our lives. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 13


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Matthew 11:28-30: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who does Jesus invite to come to him? What does He promise them?
  2. How do we receive this rest from Jesus?
  3. How does Jesus describe life with Him?

Notes

  1. Verse 28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden.” Jesus invites those who weary, worn out from the world, those who are burnt out and stuck, and those are who just plain tired. To all who are struggling, Jesus says, “Come to me.” And what does He promise them? Rest – real spiritual rest. Not TV-binge-watching rest, but real, genuine soul-rest.
  2. Well, first off, we need to come to Him! But Jesus also says we need to take His yoke and learn from Him. What this means is that we need to learn to live life the way Jesus intended, because living life as Jesus intended will give us rest. This may seem counter-intuitive (isn’t Jesus’ way of life incredibly difficult??), but, in reality, Jesus’ way of life was the way humans were meant to live. Follow Jesus, live like Jesus, and we will find that we are living in a way that brings rest and peace to our souls.
  3. He says that it is easy! Again, this seems counter-intuitive, but as already mentioned, once we start living a life with God—the way God intended—we will find this more natural, in fact easier, than the competitive, unforgiving, stressful ways of life that the world pushes us to live.

EVENING REFLECTION

Tonight, remembering that our Father in Heaven is the God of all comfort, let’s come to Him and rest in His loving presence. Try not to speak – no prayer requests, no grievances, no words – but just rest in His presence and receive His comfort.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s