Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 23:4’

Comfort: Receive it and then give it

March 9, 2016

2 Corinthians 1--3-4

Although it is now mid-morning of the next day in the region where I reside, I am still going to post comments on the Verse of the Day for March 8, 2016, even though it is actually March 9. Here is that selected passage:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (AMP):

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The passage opens by giving praise to “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who is described as the source of all mercies. Furthermore, He is the source of “all comfort” who imparts “the only true and perfect comfort in every instance,” according to Logos Bible software. The passage refers to comfort, used as both a noun, that which God provides and as a verb, whereby we, as believers, ease the grief or trouble of someone; we console those who are hurting.

Because we have been comforted and encouraged when we go through “any kind of trouble” or “all our tribulation,” we are able to comfort and encourage others who are going through similarly stressful situations.

The God of all comfort, the Father of mercies provides comfort in very specific ways. Jesus Christ assures us: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The Psalmist also provides this assurance:

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, which makes reference to the Word of God in some form or another in every verse, also reveals the source of our comfort:

Psalm 119:50:

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life.

Psalm 119:52:

I have remembered [carefully] Your ancient ordinances, O Lord, And I have taken comfort.

Psalm 119:76

O may Your lovingkindness and graciousness comfort me, According to Your word (promise) to Your servant.

Psalm 119:82

My eyes fail [with longing, watching] for [the fulfillment of] Your promise, Saying, “When will You comfort me?”

The ultimate source of comfort, however, is the Holy Spirit, called “The Comforter” whose coming began with a promise from Jesus Christ who assured those who believed on him:

John 14:16

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—

Jesus Christ further reveals the purpose of the Comforter that was to come:

John 14:26

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.

John 15:26 further explains:

“But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me.

Jesus Christ explains why he has to go away in order that the Comforter might come:

John 16:7

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

Because we have received the Comforter, we are able to provide comfort and encouragement or to comfort one another.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us

Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.

In reflecting upon the passage, I noted how believers go through trying circumstances, described as troubles or tribulation and receive comfort and encouragement, so that in turn we can comfort and encourage others who are facing similar circumstances that we have endured. In actuality, in the same way, the sufferings of Jesus Christ and all that he endured ultimately were designed to benefit others. I thought of a song which captures the essence of that message, recalling that I had used the song in a previous blog post.

Ruben Studdard and The Black Academy Choir performed a comforting soul ballad called “Medicine (For Someone Else).” When I looked up the previous entry, I noted that it was posted three years ago to the exact date. Here is a link to that post which has the title

A New Prescription: “Medicine (For Someone Else)”—More Good Medicine

We close with another dose of “good medicine” from the shelves of Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe:

No fear in love

February 22, 2016

1 John 4 18

Verse of the Day for February 22, 2016 provides yet another reference to the love of God:

1 John 4:18 (NKJV):

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

The Amplified Bible offers this rendering:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

The book of I John also reveals the “perfect” connection between fear and love, particularly in 1 John 2:5 (NKJV):

But whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this know that we are in Him.

In those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting in nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end.

The Verse of the Day provides the basis for love being the perfect antidote to fear. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there is no room for fear.

The words “Do not fear” or some variation thereof appear 365 times in the Bible. We can, thus, view the expression as a daily memo from God with instructions as to how we should live. In the midst of our turbulent times laden with fear that seems to pervade the world, we must never forget that God loves us. Knowing that God loves us and that nothing can separate us from His love, we find comfort and strength when we face the challenges of life that seem to overwhelm us at times. The words of the Psalmist, however, remind us of this truth:

Psalm 23: 4 (NLT)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The lyrics to this original song also reinforce the message that God loves us and is always with us:

When You Walk through the Valley

When you walk through the valley,
I’ll be right there to guide you.
I will lighten your path all along the way.
I will turn your darkest night into the brightest day.

When you go through the fire,
It will not singe or burn you.
I will quench the fiery flames of the enemy.
Don’t look right or left but only unto to me.

When you go through the flood,
It will not overwhelm you.
I will bear you up on eagle’s wings.
You are more than conquerors in all these things.

I will uphold you and keep you.
I will sustain and support you.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
All my promises are sure.
I know you, and I love you.
I will supply all your need.
Never fear, my child,
I am here, my child.
I love you, and I am always near.

As we reflect on the Verse of the Day and related scriptures, the lyrics to this powerful song by Phil King reinforce the message “Love casts out fear”: