Photo: Fighting for Joy Live Event 2 – October 2022
My wife is a writer. She is great with words. And when she presents, she speaks them like they are just right “off the cuff”. I have seen her spend hours preparing for this live Podcast event but did not know all that she was writing. That night after she finished interviewing Scott Jensen, our hospital’s chaplain who has been with us since that night we learned of Jackson’s dying, I sat there listening to her closing remarks. They were filled with such honesty and wisdom of what she has learned about God’s comfort, and they were combined with deep compassion for others to feel and experience Him in that way too.
I am proud of her work and love and courage and the ways she continues to fight for joy NOT through “good comforts” only but in the One who IS comfort, the lasting Treasure.
Read her closing words below – powerful.
Listen to this episode / Subscribe to her podcast:
CLOSING REMARKS – WHAT ABOUT YOU AND COMFORT?
Scott was a comforting presence for us in the middle of the worst moment of our life. The comfort of God in human form. And he continues to be. Every time we see him we feel comfort. And I wanted him to come and share because we have learned so much from him. And now, through our most broken parts, we are able to bring comfort to other people as well. And where does that comfort come from? 2 Corinthians 1:3- says…
“ God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, in our suffering, SO THAT we may be able to comfort others who are suffering.
How? With the very comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Because when we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Another Bible translation version, says it this way: God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Isn’t that interesting to read? Yes, he comforts us so that we are comforted and can get through the difficulties of life…but that’s not all that this verse here says…it says we are comforted SO THAT we can comfort others…so that we will know how to help others walk through hard things.
Eric and I will give testimony for the rest of our lives about the comfort we have received from God in our grief. It’s why we started the podcast. To tell others that this world is broken and sometimes really difficult to navigate AND ALSO God WILL help and comfort us every step of the way.
But honestly, sharing God’s comfort is most often seen and experienced in small simple ways, not through a podcast, but just living in community and friendship with each other – and that’s what I want to leave with you tonight. I want each of YOU to see that YOU TOO can be that for others too! God has used the most broken parts of my story to help so many others. Through the podcast, yes, but just in these last few months, we’ve also had people like Dustin & Shelly Everett and Lori VonSeggern…people in our Fremont community who now know what it feels like to receive the most horrible news, look us in the eyes to see if God’s comfort has truly been comforting…and if God will be able to bring His comfort and His help to their situation as well. We don’t have a corner on the market in the pain and grief department – almost all of us have gone through hard things, have needed comfort, and, therefore, are now equipped to go share that comfort with others.
So as we end tonight, I want to pose two questions. First, is there an area of your life where you need the comfort of God? Have you been trying to find comfort in lesser things when there is something enormously greater available to you? I have been chasing after comfort my entire life…both in big and small ways. It’s silly honestly how much comfort a blanket and a hot cup of coffee can bring me. But we chase in big ways…trying to find comfort in relationships, in financial security, in making sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the night. But, what if that doesn’t happen. What if your son doesn’t come home some night? Where are you going to find your comfort then?
Start placing your hope in the comfort of God. Let your heart be comforted by Him. If you don’t know what that means or looks like, please talk to one of us, but it can start with just asking for it. Ask God to comfort you. Tell him where you hurt and where you feel broken and ask Him to be your comforter. It also looks like spending time in His Word, in the Bible. That is where He speaks to us and brings comfort through His words and His promises. Psalm 119: 50, and I like the Passion Translation, says
“In all of my affliction I find great comfort in your promises, for they have kept me alive.”
And that may seem like a dramatic statement until you find yourself in the ER with Scott Jensen hearing the worst news of your life…then, you are needing the kind of comfort that has the power to breath life into death. Turn from the things that keep promising relief and comfort, but never provide it, to the ONE who can and will.
The second question I want to leave you with is: Is there a part of your story that may bring comfort to others? How has God comforted you? Think about a dark time in your life when His presence, His promises, His people helped you, and you felt God’s love and comfort. As you think about those moments…these most broken parts of your story that have been touched by God’s comfort, I want you to begin praying that God would give you courage and the opportunity to share the ways that He has comforted you SO THAT you can comfort others in their brokenness. So often God comforts us in community. Through friendship and sharing. There is power in our stories. Power in sharing our stories…but not just in the stories themselves…the real power is in the One writing our stories…and sharing about His work IN our stories…
So that’s our encouragement to you as you leave this evening…fight for Joy in your brokenness with the comfort of God and then seek to help others in their fight for joy in their brokenness by sharing the comfort you’ve received with them.