I have to confess I really like the things in this life that bring me comfort. The opposite is also true: I usually try to avoid anything that makes me uncomfortable. And I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not alone in this. In fact, when I look around I see an incredible number of things that people are running after to bring a modicum of comfort into their lives. Some of them aren't bad in and of themselves. In fact, some are needs that God created us to have. And I can't blame anyone for seeking comfort. Living in this fallen and sin-corrupted world brings plenty of discomfort into our days, and I suppose it's quite natural for us to want to pull the covers up to our chin and stay warm and cozy for as long as we can get away with it.
I came up with a list of just some of the things that bring people comfort:
Once again, many of these things are not inherently bad. But they all have one thing in common: they're temporary or short-lived in their ability to bring any kind of lasting comfort into our lives. That's why my heart was challenged recently when I came across a verse in Psalm 119. It goes like this:
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Psalm 119:76 (NIV)
The prayer of the Psalmist was that God's unfailing love would be his source of comfort. And the more I thought about that the more I saw the wisdom in that request. The Psalmist had recognized the passing nature of so many things that bring us comfort in this life. And so he prayed to God for his comfort to be founded in the one thing that would never fade, die, run out or come to an end: the unfailing love of God.
And you will also notice that this unfailing love from God was not just a pipe dream for the Psalmist. He correctly saw it as according to [God's] promise. And based upon that he boldly asked that his comfort might be established.
There are so many wonderful things that God has given us in this life to bring us joy and comfort. And though they are our possessions, they were not meant to be our eternal possessions. For that we have the Lord, and Him alone.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:25-27 (NIV)