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The God of All Comfort - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2023 12:00 am

The God of All Comfort - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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May 14, 2023 12:00 am

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).


The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, the praise of my God and King, the triumph of his grace.

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. If thou but teach us to know thy grace, we follow gladly and sing thy praise. Comfort of all hearts, hear us, we pray.

Give us our strength from day to day. If we but follow, make thee our guide. Thy peace will be ours and joy abide. Thy peace will be ours and joy abide.

Surely that beautiful hymn contains a sentiment which should always be our prayer. O Holy Spirit, lead us, we pray. We need thy guidance all through the day. If thou but teach us to know thy ways, we follow gladly and sing thy praise. And then the third verse which says, comfort our hearts, hear us, we pray. Give us thy strength from day to day.

We'll be speaking today on the subject, the God of all comfort, and we are thankful that Jesus Christ gave us the Holy Spirit who is called the Comforter. And there is comfort from him as he makes application of the word of God to our hearts. We know that all of us along the journey of life face various trials, afflictions, sorrows, and heartaches. Even those who have walked closely with the Lord have suffered greatly sometimes from physical pain, losses of loved ones. Job of course stands out as the classic example of one who feared God, served God, lived honorably, and yet gigantic troubles came all at one time in his life.

So trials can come in many forms. And that brings us to appreciate the biblical truth that God is the God of all comfort. I want to read from the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 1, beginning with the first verse. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, with the will of God, and Timothy, our brother, unto the church of God, which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in all occasion. Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. First, as we look at this passage, we see that tribulations are expected.

The Scriptures declare it over and over again. Eliphaz, one of the miserable comforters of Job, made this statement as recorded in Job chapter 5 verse 7. Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. Not everything that Eliphaz and his friends said was true. And you have to look at that in the light of what else is revealed in Scripture.

But that was a statement he made which was indeed correct. Man is born unto trouble. Job himself said in Job chapter 14 and verse 1, Man that is born of a woman is a few days and full of trouble. You see there are some troubles that we all encounter just because we are a part of this fallen human race. Trouble came as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. We sometimes suffer trouble as a result of our own individual failings, our own sins. There are consequences to be suffered as a result of sin and disobedience. But there are just difficulties in general that are encountered by all individuals that live on this earth because it is itself under the curse of sin. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. He wept much because he saw the decline among God's people. And in a state of his discouragement and misery, in the 20th chapter of the book of Jeremiah, he's cursing the day when he was born.

His attitude is, I don't even know why I'm here. No doubt there are many of you today that have at some point in your life reached that depth. Where you were saying, I just am so discouraged. I'm so cast down. I feel so useless.

So many things have gone wrong. I don't even know why I'm here. Jeremiah says it would have been better if I had died in my mother's womb. And in verse 18, he asked in the form of a question, Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow that my days should be consumed with shame? Why was I even born?

To come out of the womb to see labor and sorrow all of my days. And then in the book of Lamentations, also written by Jeremiah, he says in the 12th verse, He hath bent his bow and set me as a mark for the arrow. He says, I'm the target and when God shoots the arrow, he doesn't miss. And he has set me as a mark for the arrow. He has afflicted me.

And he describes in vivid detail the struggles that he had in that dark time. In verse 8, he said, I cry and shout and he shutteth out my prayer. Verse 15, He hath filled me with bitterness. He hath made me drunken with wormwood. He is in deep distress, greatly cast down.

I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. Jeremiah knew what it was to see trouble. Greatly distressed, greatly grieved over the decline of the people to whom he was sent to minister.

They would not hear his message. They rejected the truth of God that he was authorized to bring them. And then in the words of Jesus himself, we find confirmation that the Lord's own people must expect trouble, trials, tribulations in their journey here. John chapter 16 and verse 33, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. In the world ye shall have it. There are those that seem to suggest that if a person will follow Christ, that they'll have an easier path. They'll have good health, they'll become more prosperous.

Life will smooth out. Jesus never made that kind of a promise. He made it perfectly clear that those that followed him would know what it was to suffer. They would go through the ordinary trials that others face and then they would have some that were peculiar to their own case because they were being persecuted for righteousness sake. So he says, in me you will have peace, that peace of heart, that peace that passeth understanding, but in the world you will have tribulation.

Now there are some unique trials belonging only to the children of God. A trial becomes more difficult when in the midst of our trouble, we seek the Lord and we can't find Him. That's what Jeremiah was saying when he said, I cry and shout and He shut off my prayer. Somebody might say, well are there not promises that if we call on the Lord, He will hear us?

Indeed that's true. But have there not been times in your own experience when you tried to pray and you felt the heavens were brass. I'm going through the motions of prayer, I'm saying the words, but I have no sense that God is hearing me. I have no evidence that He is answering the prayer.

I've reached the point that I even question if He cares about me at all. And so in that state Jeremiah finally said in Lamentations chapter 3 verse 18, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord. Here is a chosen servant, a prophet of God, but he says my hope is perished. Now the good news is that when he reached that low place, he soon remembered it was of the Lord's mercies that he was not consumed and he recovered. But we want to simply make it clear that even for God's own children, there are deep dark places of the valley where you may be made to travel and in those difficult times question, Is God mindful of my situation?

Does He even care? If God loves me, why has He not protected me from this difficult situation? I don't understand it. I've been trying to serve Him. I've been trying to do what's right.

Why has all of this befallen me? That was the perplexity of Job. I don't understand it. But the real issue is not so much that we understand it all, but to be able to say also with Job, He knows the way I take. And though we slave Him, yet will I trust Him.

In one of those days of Job's misery, he says in Job chapter 13 verse 24, Wherefore hideest thou thy face and holdest me for thine enemy? Lord, why is it? You've hidden your face from me and you treat me like I'm your enemy. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe you've never been quite to that depth, but there may have been times where it seemed everything was going wrong. Everything you tried to put into place fell apart, just one trouble after another. And so the trials that an unbeliever might experience and just chalk it up to bad luck and I'll just have to work my way through this. I've just got to grit my teeth and be strong.

I've got to believe in myself. For the child of God it's a totally different matter. When he's gone along with the idea that in the time of darkness I call to the Lord and He's my light. In the time of my trouble I seek His face and He's always there, but now I'm calling on Him and He seems to be far removed from me.

These experiences are not isolated. They're found repeatedly throughout the Scripture. Psalm 10 verse 1, Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thyself in times of trouble? Lord, why are you at such a distance from me? The day of trouble is coming. It seems that you have hidden yourself from me. Psalm 13 verse 1, How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? Those sentiments are expressed in the hymn, How tedious and tasteless the hours, When Jesus, no longer I see, Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flowers, Have all lost their sweetness to me.

Tribulation is to be expected. But we also learn in this passage that God is our source of comfort. He is called the God of all comfort. See, there are some that will admit, well, yes, God is a source of comfort, and I can turn to Him under certain circumstances, but there are other issues that come that are so complex, I've got to have the counsel of the professionals in the world.

I've got to have someone that has become a student of human nature that is able to delve down deep in me and bring out those hidden issues that will give me some comfort and consolation. But our text says He is the God of all comfort. First, He comforts us by His promises. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5 says, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, that we may boldly say, The Lord is our Helper. And that's a quote from the Old Testament. God was speaking to the patriarchs of that day.

I'm not going to leave you, I'm not going to forsake you. Now, somebody will say, well, that seems to be contradictory, preacher. You say we find comfort in His promise and yet you just read passages where some of His people said, Lord, why hast thou hidden yourself, and even in the case of Job, Lord, why have you become my enemy? But you see, the fact is that even in those moments when we feel deserted, even at that time when you feel God has forgotten about you, say, where is the evidence that He cares for me if He's suffering all of these dark events to come into my life? He has not forgotten you. He says the mother might forget her nursing child, but I will not forget you.

He's faithful. He has a reason at times to let us struggle in the darkness, that we might fully realize how weak we are, how much we need Him, how dependent on Him we must be. He said, underneath are the everlasting arms. You may have gotten so low in your feeling and in the midst of your conflicts that you've said, I've hit bottom, there's nothing underneath me. No, for the child of God, underneath, no matter how far down you've gone, the everlasting arms of God are still underneath you.

He's still holding you up. The book of Isaiah is full of wonderful promises and I've always loved this one in the 43rd chapter, verse 2. When thou passest through the waters, it didn't say if you pass through the water, but when, it's just a matter that there's going to be a day, there's going to be a time you will pass through the cold waters of sorrow. When thou passes through the waters, I will be with thee and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee.

When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. What a promise is that? You see troubles coming. We've seen a lot of uncertainties on the horizon in recent years. Many parts of our economy have been forever changed. The plans you may have had a few years ago for retirement may not work at all any longer. You see how unsettling it is when large banks go under, when brokerage houses that had appeared to be stable are there no more. You see decisions made which you know undermine the stability of our governmental system as we have enjoyed it in the past.

So you have a measure of anxiety. What's the future hold? What are we going to do down the way? Here's the promise of God. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee. And then Jesus' promise on three different occasions in the Gospel of John, one of them being John chapter 16 of the seventh verse, He promised that when He went away, the Comforter would come. Isn't that beautiful that the Holy Spirit of God is referred to as the Comforter?

And the Comforter did come. And the Comforter, the Holy Spirit is with us today. And when we're going through those troubled times, when we're traveling in darkness, we're not alone. Often somebody will say, well, I feel so lonely.

I don't know that anybody fully understands where I am and what I'm experiencing. But if you're a child of God, you're not alone. The Holy Spirit abides with you. He's there to guide you, to uphold you, to console you and comfort you.

His name is Comforter. He comforts by His promises. Secondly, He comforts by the instruction that He gives us as to what we're to do when we're in the darkness. He said, I'm experiencing something evidently that nobody else has ever experienced. When I talk to others who are children of God, they talk about their abundant joy, they talk about their peace, they talk about the rich blessings they're receiving every day, but here I am dealing with doubt and fear and apprehension and wondering if the Lord has turned His back on me.

How am I supposed to react under such circumstances? Well, that's one of the great benefits of reading the Scripture because if you're reading God's Word, you soon find you're not exploring new territory. If you're walking through the valley, there's been a lot of saints gone there before you. And by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as we turn to His Word, we find useful instruction as to how we ought to react to those circumstances. We find in the book of Isaiah chapter 50, reading in the tenth verse, Who is among you that feareth the Lord? Now get the description of this individual. This is not somebody who is wayward. This is not someone who has become careless and neglecting their spiritual duties. This is one that fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant.

This one fears God. He's serving God. He's obedient. He obeys the voice of His servant.

But here what a unique situation then is described. He walks in darkness and has no light. See, if a person is not correctly taught, they would assume that's an impossibility. That if you fear the Lord and obey Him, you'll never be in the dark. But here's the prophet saying, Who is it that fears the Lord, that obeys His voice, but is walking in darkness and has no light? Now the question is raised, what do I do next? If I'm fearing God and I'm obeying Him from day to day, and I'm still traveling in darkness, Satan will whisper to you, well you need to just throw in the sponge. Just give up.

What's the use? Say, I've had all I can take. I quit.

No, here's the instruction. Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God. You don't give up.

You don't quit. You're in darkness at the moment, but you continue to trust in the Lord. There's no one else to whom you can turn. Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay where he is, stay upon his God. Just as there were those when Jesus was here that were going away because His doctrine was not appreciated. And He turned to others and said, Will you also go away?

And the response was, To whom can we go? Thou alone hast the words of life. Well, you say, I know that a Christian ought to be joyful, and right now I don't have any joy.

What am I supposed to do? Well, there's instruction. He's the God of all comfort, and sometimes there is a measure of comfort given that we don't fully understand. We've gone to the Lord, we've stayed upon our God, and just graciously He has lifted our spirit. But for the most part, His comfort comes through His word, through the instruction that He has given us. So here's the command, Philippians chapter 4 and the fourth verse, Rejoice all the way in the Lord, and again I say rejoice. So I know that's what the scripture says, and I wish I had more joy, but I don't know what to do. I'm discouraged, I'm cast down, some might describe it as being just absolutely depressed.

Well, He doesn't leave us to guess. Rejoice in the Lord, and then He's going to tell you how. Let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing. That means don't worry.

You say, that's an impossibility, I'm a worrier from way back. And just telling me not to worry, that doesn't fix a thing. You're telling me to rejoice, I'm finding difficulty in rejoicing, you're telling me not to worry.

I don't think I can handle that, but the text doesn't stop. Don't worry, here's how you overcome the worry, and here's how you're able to rejoice. In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. I have no idea how many times I have preached from this text, and how many times I have talked to an individual as they struggled, and cited them to this passage of scripture. And yet I found myself recently on a given day when I felt very much cast down. And I realized I certainly wasn't doing what this fourth verse said, I wasn't rejoicing. And I had to examine my own heart. What am I missing? I've been praying, I've been making my supplications unto the Lord.

That's part of the instruction. And as many times as I've been over this, I came to realize that at that given moment, there was something I was neglecting. Make your request known with thanksgiving. I had to pray, Lord, forgive me.

I've been coming regularly throughout the day, sometimes in the middle of the night. Lord, here are my requests, here are my burdens. And periodically I would try to thank the Lord for His blessings, but that wasn't a part of every prayer.

I felt some of the needs were so great, I just rushed right in with my list. Lord, here's the things that are on my heart. Here's the people I'm praying for. Here are the circumstances I see them struggling with. Please, please help them. Please enable them to overcome the challenges they're facing. See, we've got to do it God's way.

Make your request known with thanksgiving. How easy it is when we're pressed down with heavy burdens, stressed by the trials of life, to forget about giving thanks. And yet that's a theme that comes before us continually in the Word of God. It's there many, many times in the Old Testament. And then this New Testament passage we've just cited from Philippians chapter 4 tells us that our requests are to be made unto the Lord with thanksgiving.

How good to know that the God that we worship is the God of all comfort. Again, I urge you to write us this week. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Thank you.

Thank you. Do not be discouraged, that is, those who are wrong. Count your many blessings, angels will attend. Help and comfort give you to your journey's end. Count your blessings, make them come one by one. Count your blessings, give what some are not done. Count your blessings, make them one by one. To make the things we want not have done.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-14 02:08:08 / 2023-05-14 02:17:36 / 9

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