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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Job Experience # 16

"That We May Be Able to Comfort Them Which Are In Any Trouble"

One of the many ways that God wants to flow through us is with His Comfort; He wants to flow through us "with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." When we, like Job, are going through whatever it takes to bring about a greater reality of Christ in our innermost being, we really need comfort. However, we do not need the kind of comfort that Job's friends offered him, for they tried to comfort him with that which came out of their own religious nature. - That which was religious in their old adamic man had laid hold of what they knew of God, and it became a mixture of good and evil; and they became wise in their eyes and self-righteous in their attitude of spirit toward others.

Therefore, Job felt condemned, not comforted. This religious, self-righteous attitude, which many times seems very spiritual, is always malignant and infectious; it is like an infectious disease or a poison that spreads with a rapid course. So, this religious attitude in Job's friends caused Job, who desperately needed comfort, to respond to their counsel out of his own religious nature as he became discouraged and tried to justify himself rather than God (Job 32:2, 3). The leviathan is surely at work here.

In Job 38:2, God quickly sums up the substance of the multitude of words and reasonings that had been exchanged between Job and his friends, when God says: "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" However, before we condemn Job and his three friends, as Job's other friend Elihu did, let us ask ourselves a couple of questions. How many times have we tried to comfort someone, by offering our counsel and advice, and it caused them, either outwardly or quietly in their thoughts, to feel condemned and to justify themselves? Or on the other hand, how many times has someone tried to comfort us, much like Job's friends did, and we respond, either outwardly or quietly in our thoughts, by attempting to justify ourselves? Well, if we have walked with the Lord very long, we have found ourselves, probably more than once, in the same place that we find Job and his friends.

And so, dear ones, since we all agree that we need a deeper work of the Lord in our lives, let us turn to 2 Corinthians, the first chapter, where we will find what it means to truly comfort those "in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

"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 (2 Cor. 1:3, 4).

Earlier we learned that God is the God of all comfort (paraklesis = Greek); and that Christ Himself is The Comfort, The Consolation (The Paraklesis = Greek) of God; and we learned that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter (The Parakletos = Greek), He is the One Who makes The Comfort of God, The Reality of Christ, a living expression in our lives. And now, in the above scripture, we shall learn something further; we shall learn that God comforts us so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any (every kind of) affliction, trouble, or distress. And the Word says that we are to comfort them with "the Comfort" with which we ourselves are comforted by God. And since our comfort is the Reality of Christ - the living expression of Christ in our lives - then the measure of Christ in our lives is the measure that the Holy Spirit can use our vessel to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction. They Word of God says, any affliction! any trouble! and distress! any tribulation!

"That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble." In this phrase, the word "comfort" has a much greater significance and meaning than the word that is generally used for comfort by Christians, or by the world. The word "comfort" is a word that is used by The Comforter - The Intercessor, The Consoler, The Advocate, The Encourager, The Strengthener, because the word "comfort" is used by the Holy Spirit Himself to describe the deep work that is being done in our innermost being. And this work that is being done in order that The Comforter may flow, may intercede, unhindered in and through our inner most being.

In the Scripture, the word "comfort" means to encourage, to console, to comfort, to entreat, to desire, to beseech, to incite"; but it also means "to call aside, to summon, to admonish, to warn, to exhort, to instruct, etc." The best way to understand "the comfort", that has its source in God alone, is to consider the way in which this word is used by the Holy Spirit.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with #17)

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