Is it Better to Be Comforted or Comfortable?

I love to be comfortable.

 Give me a cool morning breeze with the windows open, that spot on my living room couch, and a hot coffee in my hand and I feel like I’m in heaven. Maybe that’s an overstatement. But at least I’m comfortable.

But the words of Jesus cut like a knife through the comfort-loving soul.

“Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

“If anyone would be My disciple he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”

“If they hated me, they will hate you.”

“Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.”

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

I’m feeling uncomfortable already. I guess it’s time to top off my coffee.

The truth is, following Jesus is rarely comfortable. It’s exhausting, painful, exasperating and unpopular. It’s uncomfortable. Thankfully it’s better to be comforted than to be comfortable.

Jesus told His disciples that when He left them He would send a Comforter. Could it be that we don’t sense the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives because we’re already pretty comfortable? Could it be that Jesus’ design for your life and mine is not to give us our best, most comfortable lives now, but to comfort through our discomfort?

Christian, it’s better to be comforted than to be comfortable.

Remember Job? His life was comfortable. Until the day everything changed. Until the day he lost everything. I remember hearing the story in Sunday School and feeling so bad for poor old Job. “Oh but it’s okay,” we were told. “In the end he got even more than he had in the beginning.”

While that sort of ending might cut it if all you lose is a few camels and clams. But Job’s loss was far deeper. He lost ten children when his life fell apart. Ten children. Ten.

Everyone who’s lost a child knows that that pain never goes away. As Dave Matthews sings, “You should never have to bury your own baby.” And yet many do. How could Job possibly be “okay” with the pain of digging ten graves just because he had more kids in the end?

That’s not the point of the story. The point of the story is not, Job lost everything but regained it in the end so all is well! The point is: Job lost everything. His comfortable life became tragically uncomfortable. But he learned the beauty of being comforted.

He put it this way in Job 42:5–“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You.” Job learned a lesson that my hot coffee and cool breeze loving soul struggles to remember. It’s better to be comforted than to be comfortable. 

So don’t fight to stay comfortable. Enjoy it when the Lord in His mercy allows you to experience it. But when the cool breeze turns into a heatwave, thank God that He’s given you the Holy Spirit, the ultimate Comforter. Don’t settle for being comfortable, Christian. Remember it’s better to be comforted than to be comfortable.

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