Does God want us comfortable?
In sickness, we pray for healing. In times of hardship, we pray for comfort. In times of pain, we seek relief. We so often beg God, “Take this discomfort; give me peace and comfort.” Those are good prayers and God is able! He is our Healer and our Comforter! He wants us to feel loved. He desires we know His peace, His love, protection, and His blessings.
But… does God really want us comfortable?
I think the answer is no.
He wants so much more for us than just comfort!
He wants us holy. He wants us righteous. He wants us to be loving, forgiving, kind, compassionate, joyful people. He wants us to be rested, strong, victorious, and living in freedom…but nowhere in Scripture does it say He wants us comfortable. I don’t know of a single verse about our personal comfort.
Jesus Himself was anything but comfortable. Quite the opposite–He gave up His comfort, His throne in heaven, to come to earth and be beaten, tortured, belittled, spit upon, and crucified on a cross just to save us.
He did not choose comfort and I don’t think we are supposed to either!
Comfort leads to complacency, and complacency leads to sin. When our focus is on our own comfort, we lose sight of the very people we are called to love. We can’t care for the orphans, widows, hungry, homeless, lonely…we can’t love like Christ loves us if we’re preoccupied with our own comfort.
Comfort must be an action verb!
As Christians, “comfort” must be a verb. We are to comfort, not be comfortable! We must give up our comfort to comfort another. We must give up our comfort to love others. We must give up our comfort, and follow Jesus. Jesus never told us to be comfortable. Quite the opposite. Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him!
When God is first in our lives, we will be less concerned with our own comfort; we will be consumed with the needs of others and the eternal comfort of the lost!
Rather than tossing and turning at night worried about ourselves, we will spend hours on our knees praying for those who don’t know Jesus. We will wonder about every person we meet, “Do they know Jesus?” “Is she going to heaven?” And we will have the boldness and courage to find out.
No more worrying about what people think. No more fear of rejection. No more ignoring the eternal damnation for people who don’t know Jesus. If we truly believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will love others enough to share the truth. We must love them enough to care what happens to them, both in this life, and in eternity to come. The consequences of rejecting Christ–eternal separation from God, eternity in hell–must overshadow and overpower any social etiquette rule.
So, are we called to a life of misery and pain?
Not at all! Yes, we will face trials, tribulations, and hardships. Jesus has told us that. But He also tells us we can find rest in Him. We have His perfect peace that surpasses all understanding and guards our minds and hearts in Him.
Through our trials we have peace. In our deepest pain, we find He is close to the brokenhearted. In our loneliness, we find He is our friend. In our weakness, we find out just how strong He is. And in our discomfort, we find out how deep, how wide, how complete, and how amazing His love truly is!
And this is a love and comfort we can share with others.
Comforting others brings comfort to us!
The Challenge to Serve
Let’s stop fretting over our own comfort. In fact, let’s stop fretting at all! The more we chase it, the more it will escape us anyway. It’s only found in serving Christ and living for Him. Let’s joyfully surrender to the challenging, eternally rewarding life that God has for us. It starts with His love, and doesn’t end until He returns.
Let’s trade our desire for comfort for a desire to comfort others. The crazy thing is, when we surrender our desire for a life of ease and accept the challenge of living a life that glorifies God, loving others the way He calls us to love, we will find the comfort we so desperately need. Even better, we find fulfillment, joy, peace, and our weary soul finds rest. And the comfort we find in Christ is eternal and complete.
God not only gives us comfort, He is our comfort. We have to guard against the desire to be comfortable, and chase after God who is our comfort. And let’s not get so comfortable we forget to share that comfort with others.
How Do I Change My Focus?
- Pray for God’s wisdom on ways to comfort others…seek His guidance and strength to carry it out and do it!
- Focus on the needs of others and be amazed at how completely your needs are met!
Thoughts to Ponder
- How can I turn my current struggle into an opportunity to comfort someone else?
- What is God asking me to give up? To pick up?
- What is God asking me to do?