November 13 The Comfort of God

Scripture reading: Psalm 23:1–6

Key verse: Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

As Catherine Marshall turned to leave the room where her husband, Peter, had died, a portion of the Twenty–third Psalm came to mind, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.” Those were words she had come to love and claim throughout the years. Now she felt it was God’s personal pledge to her.

She wrote,

During the funeral preparations and all the myriad decisions to be made, it was as though I were taken over and managed. In addition, a sort of protective shield was placed over my emotions. Somehow for those days I was lifted into a higher realm …

Then about eight days after Peter’s death, suddenly that higher realm in which I had been so lovingly enveloped was gone, and I plummeted to earth to stand again on feet of clay in the valley where salt tears and loneliness and the fear of coping alone with the problems of everyday life are all too real …

There is another side to God’s comfort for His ways are never man’s ways. It is not the feather-cushion kind or pat on the cheek … It does not tiptoe into the chamber of grief with its shuttered windows: it marches in. There is steel at its backbone. It is a bugle call for reinforcements … God comforts us with strength by adding resources. His way is not to whittle down the problem but to build up our ability to cope with it.

I praise You for Your comfort, Lord, which consoles me in times of need. Thank You for giving me the ability to face every adversity in Your strength.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 332). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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