the center of the cyclone
place of utter calm:
the whirl of mad confusion
sheltered in the palm
the hand that cups the sky:
Hidden, treasured, safe am I.
(Author unknown to me)
If you ever believe that your bad situation will last
forever, you have lost hope. If you have lost hope, you
have lost the ability to plan creative ways to solve the
present crisis. Many times we would be able to overcome
a hopeless attitude if we simply spoke hopefully about
it. (I don’t recall from where I gleaned this.)
In this world of daily uncertainties, we need to keep
hope alive. We are facing a new year with many unknown
experiences ahead. We can begin the year with dread and
fear; or we can face it with faith and hope, which will
bring us comfort in the midst of any chaos that might
develop. We can face every day filled with the joy of
the Lord, since it is a product of the Holy Spirit and
not something we have to dredge up from within
"Every tomorrow has two handles, we can take hold by the
handle of anxiety or by the handle of faith" (Quotable
God is still alive! Jesus is our Hope, and He gave us
the Holy Spirit for our Comfort. If we avail ourselves
of the Holy Spirit’s properties (fruit of the Spirit),
we will have adequate provisions for every day; day by
“This is the day which the Lord hath made’ we will
rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm
Hope gives us momentum to carry on; without it we will
succumb to the depths of despair.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath
begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus” (1 Peter 1:3).
“lively” hope, not a dead one. We are begotten to a
hope that raises our vision above the present horizon
where trials and temptations are swirling around us.
Trials, tests, temptations are inevitable; they are the
building materials for hope and comfort. If we never
had to face them, we would not need to be comforted nor
hope past the present.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also;
knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience,
experience; and experience, hope”
(Romans 5:3, 4).
Tribulations give us opportunities to endure (patience)
and not give up; our endurance leads us to experience
the faithfulness of God in every trial, so we learn by
experience that we have every legitimate reason to have
hope. It is through tribulations that God comforts us
with hope; not an intangible hope, but one with assured
expectations that we will be victorious.
We tend to avoid things and people that cause us to feel
uncomfortable, and there may be times when it is
expedient to do so; but we must not avoid the things and
people that God places in our path. It may be they
will push us to increased hope in God or it may be that
we are to be there to do the same for them. We
need to be discerning, and not seek out the easiest way;
because the easy way is not always the best way.
Sometimes the uncomfortable “feeling” is the Holy Ghost
making us aware of what He wants us to do. God
wants only the best for us.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith
the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give
you an expected end" (Jeramiah 29:11).
Paul experienced that when he determined to go in one
direction and the Holy Ghost had other plans. He would
have had no comfort if he had gone against God’s plan.
He was very uncomfortable when he was “kicking against
the pricks (goads)” on the road to Damascus to ferret
out any Christians he could find. But what comfort he
had even during all his troubles as he followed the call
he received on that Damascus road! He knew what he was
talking about when he said the Father was the “God of
all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).
When the Holy Ghost convicts sinners, they begin to feel
uncomfortable with themselves, their sinful lives; then
He woos them to Jesus and wraps them with His comfort
when they respond with repentance. The sin-sorrow is a
heavy burden, hard to bear, but repentance lifts the
load and the Blessed Comforter takes its place.
When our heart is hurt and broken by someone we love,
the place to run is to Jesus. We may have understanding
friends who will be sympathetic, but all they can do is
offer sympathy and leave us in our sad condition. Their
sympathy can cause us to harbor the hurt and leave us
with bitterness instead of conviction. When we seek the
Lord, the Holy Spirit is present to heal and restore us
without leaving a hideous scar. If restitution is
required, He will guide us through it. He comforts us
“as a father pities his children” (Psalm 103:13).
Look at Paul again. In spite of his many and varied
troubles, he said “…I am filled with comfort, I am
exceeding joyful in all our tribulation…God, that
comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us…”
(2 Corinthians 7:4, 7). He in essence said, “Thank you
for the tribulations; they were opportunities to help me
grow as they worked patience (produced endurance).”
No one knows about tribulations like Jesus! He suffered
everything that we go through, and He knows exactly how
we are feeling—and He know what to do about it! He has
the comfort we need, and He will share His joy with us.
Nehemiah tells us that “the joy of the Lord is our
strength” (8:20). Notice that he said it was the
Lord’s joy, not something we work up in our own
emotions, but His indestructible joy strengthens us!
The strength of that joy took Him to the cross and held
Him here until He paid for our sins and our
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our
faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured
the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the
right hand of the throne of God”
Thoughts of my friend
Were swirling in my head.
My friend hurt me,
There’re tears on my bed.
hear mom coming
She’ll make it all better
And you what—
think I’ll let her!
She’ll pull up the covers
And gently kiss my cheek.
She’ll whisper, “It’ll be OK,”
And very soon I’ll fall asleep.
(This is in honor of my mother who was a ‘comforter.’)
As a child puts its trust in its Mother to calm its
fears and protect it from all harm and danger, so we
Christians can fully trust our Heavenly Father to bring
us safely through every trial and tribulation,
strengthen us in every temptation and preserve us for
There will always be trials and tests, but they will be
followed by comfort and hope. We have nothing to fear,
not even death. Someone has said, “Christians face
death, but don’t taste death.” Jesus has conquered
every enemy, even death.
What’s to fear? Be comforted in the hope of our Lord
Jesus Christ! Face the new year with that comfort and
nothing can defeat you!
Faith makes a Christian.
Life proves a Christian.
Trials confirm a Christian.
Death crowns a Christian.