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Comforter to the Downcast

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God, who comforts the downcast.”  2 Corinthians 7:6

Who else comforts like Him? The sweetest promises and whispered words of comfort, coming from us, can fall upon deaf ears to someone who is truly poor, melancholy, and distressed. As much as we may try to comfort them, it may only be a note or two of mournful resignation that you get in reply. You will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up their head, and the mourner’s eyes glisten with hope. “’Tis paradise, if thou art here; If thou depart, ‘tis hell.”

You could not have cheered them, but the Lord has done it. “God, who comforts the downcast.”  Even when there is no comfort to be found in the world, there is comfort in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-Rophe (“The LORD who Heals“). It is marvelous how one sweet word of God will become whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the metal-worker who can hammer that promise out for whole weeks.

So, then, ogYou are like a poor dry well. When a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first to prime it, and then you will get water. So too when you are dry, go to God, ask Him to pour His joy in your heart, and then your joy will be full. Don’t go to earthly friends, for you may find them to be like Job’s ‘comforters’. Instead, go first and foremost to your ‘God, who comforts the downcast’ and you will soon say, ‘When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)

Question: Where in your Bible do you most often turn when you’re seeking consolation?

Originally written by Charles Spurgeon.
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2009
Used by Permission

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The Prison of Want

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Come with me to the most populated prison in the world. The facility has more inmates than bunks. More prisoners than plates. More residents than resources.

Come with me to the world’s most oppressive prison. Just ask the inmates; they will tell you. They are overworked and underfed. Their walls are bare and bunks are hard.

No prison is so populated, no prison so oppressive, and, what’s more, no prison is so permanent. Most inmates never leave. They never escape. They never get released. They serve a life sentence in this overcrowded, under-provisioned facility.

The name of the prison? You’ll see it over the entrance. Rainbowed over the gate are four cast-iron letters that spell out its name:

W-A-N-T

The prison of want. You’ve seen her prisoners. They are “in want.” They want something. They want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want.

They don’t want much, mind you. They want just one thing. One new job. One new car. One new house. One new spouse. They don’t want much. They want just one.

And when they have “one,” they will be happy. And they are right — they will be happy. When they have “one,” they will leave the prison. But then it happens. The new-car smell passes. The new job gets old. The neighbors buy a larger television set. The new spouse has bad habits. The sizzle fizzles, and before you know it, another ex-con breaks parole and returns to jail.

Are you in prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. You are if joy is one delivery away, one transfer away, one award away, or one makeover away. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it — you are in prison, the prison of want.

Paul says that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV). When we surrender to God the cumbersome sack of discontent, we don’t just give up something; we gain something. God replaces it with a lightweight, tailor-made, sorrow-resistant attaché? of gratitude.

What will you gain with contentment? You may gain your marriage. You may gain precious hours with your children. You may gain your self-respect. You may gain joy. You may gain the faith to say, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Try saying it slowly. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want

Again, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Again, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Shhhhhhh. Did you hear something? I think I did. I’m not sure … but I think I heard the opening of a jail door.

By Max Lucado
From: Next Door Savior
Used by Permission

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.

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To learn more about Max Lucado visit his website at:    
http://maxlucado.com/about/

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/max-lucado_the-prison-of-want/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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