North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Most people these days are suffering from what I call heart-sickness. Sorrows and troubles put a damper on our spirits and it’s hard to keep moving forward when our hearts become so heavy. Yet there is a respite and a resource in the faithful practice of religious activity. Religion is medicine for the soul. Jesus’ own words echo the factual idea that he is a physician when he says in Mark 2:17, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” And part of our healing involves being comforted from the sorrows we must face.    A powerful verse is found in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you”. This is a hopeful declaration by our Savior that assures we will spiritually never be alone in our struggles.

    Many of us love our friends and family so devotedly that we would never leave them comfortless if we could help it. Many of us would suffer any loss for their sake. Our heart may be willing, but our arms are weak, and the limitations of our human power doesn’t allow us to always bring comfort to our loved ones in trouble.

    Jesus Christ says with all confidence, “I will not leave you comfortless.” This includes our sinful ways. Although our sins are dark and ungrateful like Peter’s denial of Christ before the crucifixion, Christ will not leave us comfortless when in our sorrow we repent like Peter did. In fact, Jesus’ first message to the disciples after his resurrection was, “Peace be with you” (John 20:26). So, if your heart is broken and heavy because of your backsliding or from a difficult situation, and if your penitent spirit turns toward him, you can hear Christ say to you, “Peace be with you. I will not leave you comfortless”.

    God will never leave us comfortless in the fears and worries of life. In Matthew 14 Jesus went up into the mountains to pray and the disciples went out in a boat on the lake. A storm arose, and it seemed they would be wrecked and ruined. Yet, during the storm, Jesus who had been watching, though they didn’t know, came walking to them on the waves. The disciples thought him to be a ghost, then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage, I am here!”

    Are you in the midst of a storm? Does life seem dark and uncertain? Jesus is the same as he was then. He loves you as much as those boat-load of disciples. Open your heart to him in your sorrow, in your fears, and he will not leave you comfortless.

    When we realize the brevity of life and how we are getting older, and when life draws near it’s close, we shall not go alone into the valley of shadows. Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There’s more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-4).

    The whole philosophy of Christ’s comfort lies in the power of personal love. Christ explains the comfort he will bring: “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” The secret of it all is that we will have comfort because we have Jesus and he has us. Someone once asked me, “How can I know Jesus is with me? How can I find him here on earth?”

    We find him in our Bible and we find him when we pray. When we walk with him, carry his burden, and wear his yokes. In doing these things we develop the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We feel his touch as we minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ. He sits at the table of our hearts and we can have communion with him day by day. There’s great comfort in this!

    Nothing can separate us from this love of Christ. As long as we stand faithful to him there’s no power in all the universe strong enough to break that fellowship and kinship of love. We can stake our life and purpose upon his promise to not leave us comfortless. Christ has the strength, wisdom, and love to carry out all that he promises his followers. And when at last our call comes to go forth into the eternal world, it’ll be the same Christ whom we have known here who will meet us there, and we shall dwell with him forever!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Aug 11 2019. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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