Posted in theology

How to be comforted in troubling times

By Elizabeth Prata

Sometimes when the world is going crazy, the best thing to do is simply read some scripture. Feed on it, be bathed in its refreshing waters of truth, let it wash over you and calm your spirit. On days like these days, when there is so much calamity, I just read. It is different than studying, or searching, or listening, or skimming. I just read His word and He restores me to equilibrium.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” (Proverbs 25:25) Let His word wash over you as cold water, refreshing you in good news!

Christ the True Vine, Russian icon

I found John 15:1-11 and its parallel passages in Isaiah 5 to be my refreshment. How about you?

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The Holy Spirit has many ministries to us, God’s people. He applies salvation, of course, dropping the scales from our eyes and allowing us to see our sin from an external vantage point apart from our flesh. He is also called our helper or comforter. The Greek word in the verses below is paráklēsis:

  1. properly, a calling near, summons (especially for help)
  2. imploration, supplication, entreaty: as in 2 Corinthians 8:4
  3. exhortation, admonition, encouragement: as in Acts 15:31
  4. consolation, comfort, solace: 2 Corinthians 1:4-7; Hebrews 6:18; (add, Acts 9:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:16)
  5. Source – Strong’s Greek

When times are troubling, like they are these days, it is tempting to look around for help and comfort. Our husbands, brothers, church family, pastors/elders, friends can certainly comfort us. But no one can comfort like the Holy Spirit, because no one is closer to us. He is IN us. And He is perfect.

God is the God of all Comfort-

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. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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