Comforted to Comfort
He comforts us in all our tribulations so we may then comfort others. The main thing is not that you and I feel better; the main point is can we bring comfort to other people?
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again to radio friend. How in the world are you? Aren’t you glad you could be in the world but not of it? That, of course, is the background for the little greeting with which we open these broadcasts, in the world but now not of the world because we are indwelt whether blessed Holy Spirit of God in our citizenship is in Heaven from whence also we look for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ shall change these bodies of our humiliation that they may be fashioned like unto His glorious body. One day, you’ll have a body like the Lord Jesus yonder there in the glory will be together with Him and with our loved ones and will be serving Him for all eternity. What a glorious prospect that is, praise God!
Well, I started just for a little break, to walk around in one or two of the Psalms. We finished the book of Colossians a day or so ago, and then you began the last time we got together, we began to think about Psalm 116, reasons why you and I really love the Lord. Heading the list is answered prayer. I love the Lord because you have heard my voice and my supplications. My voice, I talked to you just for a moment about the importance of talking with God, audibly that is, for the words that you say have an impact upon your own mind. I can’t explain to you why this is so. Perhaps some psychology friend of yours can do that, but I know that it is a fact, that what you say out loud does have an impact upon your mind, your conscious mind as well as that portion we call the unconscious mind, which is the computer portion of your mind. So learn to speak with your Heavenly Father audibly, don’t just mumble something inaudible and think that you’re praying, well you are in a way, but if you really want to pray and as a result, if you truly wish to love God more then pray more and do it audibly. Learn to have an agenda for prayer, a list of things that you wish to talk over with your Heavenly Father.
This word supplication led us into that discussion, didn’t it? Your supplication means that you asked God about something. Prayer list, a prayer list, and then when God answers the prayer, don’t forget to thank Him for it and check it off of the list with a big hallelujah, and the date when He answered. That is one of the great sources of encouragement and it will strengthen your faith as you review that list from time to time and see how much the Lord has answered. Psalm 116 is the psalm and we look at verse two, “Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live”.
It was Dr. Walter O. Wilson, my dear friend of many years now with the Lord of course for a good long time, some of you remember him, the beloved physician he was called. A doctor turned Bible teacher and for many years, thrilling our hearts with the blessings he brought from the word of God. And my dear friend, he somehow befriended me and I’m grateful to God for that. But, I heard him say one day as he discussed this very verse he said, “Now, have you ever noticed that there are many animals who can move their ears toward the direction from which the sound is coming? The horse, for instance, the mule, the dog, other animals have a way of moving their ears so that is they get full reception from the direction from which the sound is coming”, but he said, “People have to look. They have to incline their ear, that is to say, they have to turn their ears in the direction from which the sound is emanating”. He said God pays attention to you when you talk to Him. He inclined his ear, and to me, that means He paid attention to me. He looked in my direction. Good idea, isn’t it?
A little boy was afraid of the dark and especially in the thunderstorm. He had been taught, he had been taught by his mother to pray, to trust God, and so in this very dark night in the middle of a thunderstorm, his mother who’d come up to check on him, unbeknownst to the little guy, heard him say, “Dear God, I know that You’re there, but are you looking in my direction?” Yes, He is, thank God. Yes, He’s looking in your direction. He inclines His ear to you. This is anthropomorphism, which means a translating of inexpressible eternal truth into human terms. God doesn’t have real ears, like you and me. God is a spirit. They that worship Him is to worship in spirit and truth, said Jesus. He doesn’t have the physical ears such as we do, God the Father, but this is an expression which means God turns in your direction and pays attention to you when you talk with Him.
It’s possible to be in someone’s presence, but not listening to them, isn’t that true? Every parent knows this, you’ve been lecturing Junior and suddenly in frustration you break off your lecture and say, “Listen to me! You’re not listening to me”. What’s the problem? Well, that little boy has learned that he can pull down the shades of his mind, and go off gathering somewhere else, and not bother to listen to the lecture. He’s learned that skill early in life. It’s possible, isn’t it, to hear a sound without paying any attention to it, but when your voice is raised toward your Heavenly Father, He pays attention to you. He inclines His ear, so to speak to you, because that’s true, the Psalmist says, I’m gonna call on Him as long as I live. One answered prayer gives rise to the confidence that launches 1,000 prayers. All you need to do to encourage your own faith is to look back and see how many times God has already paid attention beloved, to you. When you start to review some of those occasions, when you realize how much there is for which you have to praise Him, it is going to encourage your faith and then, like the Psalmist, you’re saying I’m gonna call on Him as long as I live. Well, what were some of the things that the Psalmist remembered, concerning which God paid attention? He said, “The sorrows of death compassed me”. The sorrows of death. Now, many of you know what that means, some of you have not yet lost a loved one, but you will, but many of my listeners know what it is to see someone else go through the valley of the shadow of death, and the doctors’ done all that he can do, and he says to you gently, he said “There isn’t anything more that I can do”, and you sit by the bedside and you watch life ebb away, and finally there’s that final statement that says, “He’s gone, she’s gone”, Oh, how life seems to cave in on you, and how it seems just impossible for you to bear the awful pain of separation.
Someone said to me the other day, dear lady who had the joy of living with her sweetheart for 49 years. She said, “49 years, how, how can I give him up?” Well, the fact of the matter is, of course, that you haven’t really given him up because he was a Christian and he’s yours still, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. But oh, the sorrow is there, isn’t it? All of the sermons in the world can’t dull the cutting edge of sorrow. We were born to live, not to die. Death came in because of sin, and while it’s true that the sting of death is sin and the Lord Jesus has removed the stinger, praise God, yet we’re human beings, and our tears fall when sorrow comes. Now, my friend, the answer to the pain of sorrow, and the pains of hell it’s our word to the Sheol, which is the place where all of the dead were said to go in Old Testament theology, so we call it the grave. The sorrows of death and the pains of the grave got ahold on me. I found trouble and sorrow. Oh, for those of you who today are sorrowing and even as I’m saying these words you say, “Well Cook, you sure know that it’s true for me, nobody understands, nobody knows how it hurts, nobody appreciates how lonely I get”, well that’s true, because nobody can go through it for you. Sorrow’s a lonesome business, isn’t it? But, Jesus knows He’s touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He was called the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows and He cares, “Casting all your care upon Him”, says Peter, “for He careth for you”, and part of answered prayer, I have to tell those of you who are sorrowing today, yes it hurts, and yes your tears falling, yes there’s an empty place in your life that no one else, human being can fill.
But, as you pray as you talk with your Heavenly Father, and as by faith you take from Him, now this is very important, don’t miss it, as you take by faith from your Lord, the comfort that He can give, He not only comforts your heart, but He makes it possible for you to be of comfort to others. How do I know this? Second Corinthians, first chapter, and that as we just begin that those first few verses he says, “Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforted us in all our tribulation that we in order that”, there’s one of those purpose clauses in the New Testament, “in order that we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation comfort also aboundeth by Christ”. Grieving one, lots of you are listening today, and there if there aren’t tears in your eyes there are tears in your heart, because of sorrow that has come into your life. God is the one who provides real comfort in answer to prayer. Tell Him about it today. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him what your need is and claim by faith this blessed promise that I’ve just given you from 2 Corinthians chapter 1, He’s the God of all comfort and He comforts us, says he does it, the Bible says He does it, so it’s true. He comforts us in all our tribulations, so we can comfort others. The main thing is not that you and I feel better, the main point is can we bring comfort to other people. That is where it’s at.
Prayer, I love the Lord because He answered my prayer. What kind of prayer? A prayer from a broken heart. God can comfort, halleluiah for that.
Dear father today, I know I’ve been talking to people who hurt and who are in sorrow and who had troubles. All of us do from time to time, but some folks need you so much just now. Minister, strengthen, blessing, and comfort to them, I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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