Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read then in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
—2 Corinthians 1:3–5 (ESV)
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may
receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
—Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
—John 14:1 (ESV)
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
—Luke 12:32 (ESV)
As we seek to focus on Christ during this time of prayer and fasting, a great part of Christ’s character to explore is the comforter He is to us. While we face suffering in this life just as Christ did, we also get to share in the comfort He offers. And 2 Corinthians 1 tells us it’s not just some comfort we get to experience through Christ, but abundant comfort. In times of sorrow, fear, disappointment, or confusion, it’s soothing to know that our Lord delights in comforting us. He does not expect us to “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” and power through with our head down. No. Though He calls us to endurance in the Christian life, He provides deep comfort to our hearts in every leg of the journey! Though we suffer, we are comforted during our sorrow. What a wonderful Savior we serve, who through His sacrifice on the cross gave us access to the tender heart of the Father, who see us in our time of need, and opens His arms, His understanding heart, and His strengthening power to us.
Though we know that God comforts us in our times of need, sometimes it’s helpful to observe the real-life moments when Christ tangibly comforted His disciples. In these moments, we can see what God’s comfort through Christ actually looks like. Two examples are found in John 14:1 and Luke 12:32. In John 14, Jesus can tell that His disciples’ hearts are troubled. Instead of scolding them, He comforts and encourages them toward belief. He tells them to exercise faith in God, but also in Him, since He’s God in the flesh! He gives His disciples not just a kind word in the midst of despair or fear, but a way out of it—faith! In Luke 12, Jesus sees the fear in His followers and takes time to lovingly address it. He meets them right where they are and gives them a refreshing truth to find comfort in and to hold onto. You don’t have to be afraid! Because of your union with me, the Father delights to give you entrance and even rulership in my kingdom! It’s His pleasure to invite you in, and have you become my co-heir! (2 Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:17). What comfort we are given when we see Christ interact this way. He notices when we are scared, He meets us right where we are, He gives us a precious truth to hold onto. Truly, there is no other God like Him!
Questions for Thought //
1. Have you forgotten that Jesus delights in comforting you, His follower? Why? What keeps you from going to Him for the comfort you need?2. What do you need to lay at Christ’s feet, even now, and instead of trying to bear it all alone, receive His comfort in your time of need?