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  • Pastor Ralph

Comfort Food

I think, during these days of pandemic, people are making and digesting a lot of what we call “comfort foods.” Mac and cheese, shepherd’s pie, apple pie, they are marvelous mouth-watering islands of “comfort.” Food plays a much more diversified role in our lives than just nutrition.

To “comfort” someone is to “give strength and hope.” I like that definition! If you are like me and you have been having a challenging week, I turn to God’s word to “give me strength and hope.” As much as I enjoy food, food will not do that. It is only the “living word” that can give us ultimate “strength and hope”, no matter what we face. I want to share with you very briefly this morning five verses of scripture that give me “hope” and “strength” in troubled times! They are literally a “Bridge over Troubled Water.” They help us see things from an eternal perspective that far outweighs all this world has to offer.

The first is Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God’s promise is simply; He will be with us no matter what. That, often times, does not alter the circumstances right way but it gives us assurance and it gives us hope to know that God is at the centre of our problems. He is at work. It helps us take hold of that “peace that passes all understanding.”

The second is Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” God’s love transcends all situations and challenges we face. Our Father’s love is unconditional, sacrificial and enduring beyond anything we can comprehend. We begin to understand God’s love when we look at the cross. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

The third scripture reflects an important human dynamic. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times…” Friends are a precious gift from God. They don’t have to sit on our door step, we don’t have to hear from them every day but when we need to reach out they are there in love. No man or woman is poor, the old saying goes, who has friends!

The fourth verse is a promise; A simple yet profound promise. Jesus simply says, “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Actually, the whole verse reads, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” “Nikao ho cosmos” I have conquered, vanquished, subdued the world. His Lordship reigns over creation and reigns over you and me. The final outcome is His story. As his “friends”, we share in His final glory and in His present control.

And finally, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) I know the primary context of this verse is salvation but I think the application is much broader. Whatever we are facing, we can come to Him and let Him handle our stress. His promise is “rest for our souls.”

Well here is my “comfort food.” These verses give me peace, give me strength, and give me rest. God bless you my friends – stay safe and keep in the love of Jesus – Pastor Ralph

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