Sunday, September 26, 2010

Comfort Food

The term "comfort food" (added to the Webster's Dictionary in 1972) refers to foods consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status, whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive.[1] More generally, comfort food can be defined as food that brings some form or measure of comfort..... Wickipedia

Now like most people, I have a certain dish or two that I like more than others, but I'm not all that sure they help my emotional state or feelings of well being. On the other hand, when it's cold and rainy I like to make a big pot of stew following a recipe I learned from my Dad. My kids always knew they could expect that stew when the weather turned gloomy, and they even began to ask for it as they got older. The need for comfort, however, is something we all need from time to time, and as believers I think it's only fair to ask "what is our spiritual comfort food"? Is there really such a thing, and if so, where do we find it?

For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
Zechariah 10:2 NKJV

I think this verse speaks volumes about where we go to looking for comfort, and the hazards of looking in the wrong place. When Zechariah wrote these words, the children of Israel had stopped looking to God for their comfort, and as a result were left "hungry" because what the world has to offer will never supply the comfort we need. It seems to me that the delusion of the world is that we can be happy with what it has to offer. The lies and false dreams are the assurances of the "experts" that the world is where we need to look in order to get what we want, but in the end we find there is no truth in what they say, and as a result, no comfort.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV

You have to love a verse that uses the word comfort five times. In this letter to the Corinthian church, Paul begins by stressing the source of our comfort as believers is God the Father. Not only that, but he makes it clear that He is the God of "all comfort", (not just some) and will comfort us in "all our tribulation"(whenever we need it). We all should realize by now that as believers we will have troubles. It is part of the life we are asked to live, and as we said last week, there are reasons for it. However the Bible makes it clear that we are to go to God for the comfort we need, and not to anything the world (Satan) would use as a substitute for the real thing.

This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
Psalms 119:50 NKJV

I often find myself relating to David and some of the many trials he went through. Yet as I have studied his life one of the things that stands out to me is that he always turned to God for his comfort. As often as he messed up and needed help, he always knew where to turn for the comfort he needed, and that was to God's word. I really enjoy reading and studying the Old Testament stories because I find that those people were human just like me and made some of the same mistakes. The stories of the people serve a purpose though, as Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NKJV

You see, we can find comfort and hope for whatever situation we find ourselves in by reading stories about how others had their troubles but God always took care of them and delivered them.
When faced with the need for comfort, do you look to the world for what the Bible says will never satisfy, or do you turn to the Bible for the comfort God the Father says will always satisfy? Do you need comfort today? Let God's Word provide it.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV

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