photo 1-3Okay, here it is, a confession, I love comfort. I love to be able to relax and enjoy life. I like sitting in my sweats in my recliner, typing on my laptop. Come to think of it, that’s what I’m doing right now. Sometimes comfort can be great thing, it can even be a gift of God. But it can also be an idol. If we guide our entire lives around what makes us comfortable, we can end up placing ourselves at the center of our own universe. We can end up closing ourselves off from the world choosing to stay comfortable.

Much of life is uncomfortable and many of the great things in this world are uncomfortable. Consider the artist. I can’s speak for you, but my studio is comfortable for me. I could stay down there all day every day and just make art. I love creating as I’m sure do many of you. On the other hand putting my work out there for the world to see, well that can be about the most uncomfortable thing there is for most artists. Someone might not like it. Someone might trash it, etc. Some artists are so bound up with this, that they never show their work to anyone, preferring comfort, but art that isn’t shared might as well not exist and it is in sharing our work that we and the rest of the world reap it’s benefit.

Sometimes I think we value comfort far too highly. There is a huge portion of the church that will look at anything which is a struggle and assume that God is not in it. Surely God makes everything He is behind simple and easy, right? HARDLY! Consider the example of the apostle Paul. Shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, left for dead, and eventually executed. Was God against him? Heavens no. He wrote over half the New Testament, He spread the church over much of the known world. He reached the Gentiles. God’s blessing was all over Paul, but that didn’t mean an easy road. It meant God gave him the grace to endure trials and persevere. I didn’t even touch on the most blessed person of all time, Jesus Himself. Can we look at our supreme example and see an example of ease and comfort? NOOOOO!

God has not called us to comfort and, yes, most days I don’t like that either, but the truth is Jesus said following Him requires a cross to bear. What God called us to is following Him. What God called us to is faithfulness. What God called us to is perseverance and while none of that is easy we have a promise. He will be with us. The greatest power in the universe is on our side. Jesus promised us trouble in this world and then said take heart, because He has overcome the world. The one who can overcome the world, the one who beat death, the God of the angel armies is by your side.

If that’s not a comfort, I don’t know what is.

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