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'The God of All Comfort'
by Travis Wiginton
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The deaths of 6 friends and neighbors in a period of 2 wks. led me to these thoughts on COMFORT.

Due to La Moyne's brief hospital stay last week, we were only able to attend 3 services. Those were for 3 great men with loving families.

They are now 'Absent from the body and present with the Lord'. (II Cor. 5:6)
All three fought a good fight, kept the faith and finished their course. (II Tim 4:7)

There were tears, but 'tears are a language that God understands'.

There was also smiles and laughter as pictures were shown on video screens, showing these men playing with their children and gr'children. In place of a coffin at Karl Malthaner's service there were pictures of Karl, set on a table covered by cloth from Ghana. He and Kathryn served as Dorm Parents for the Missionary children, as well as ministering to the people of Ghana.

Karl's 5 children each shared thoughts about their Dad (some serious, some funny).
His 12 gr'children sang 2 songs that Karl sang to them many times:
'A, You're Adorable' and 'You Are my Sunshine'.

When Travis served as BSU Dir. (Campus Pastor) at the University of Oklahoma, one of his freshman students was David Rhea from Grandfield, Okla.
During that time, David met Ann Adkins from Norman and they later married.
David's obituary read:
"From the moment he met Miss Ann at the Baptist Student Union at OU until his last breath at home, he loved her!"

David and Ann's 3 children shared memories of their Dad, then at the close of the service, the organist played 'Ode To Joy' followed by 'Boomer Sooner' (OU's school song). That brought smiles to everyone, so we left there feeling 'COMFORTED'....like we had just had a good visit with David and his Lord...whom he served so faithfully.

It was so good to see the COMFORT within the families and from the church families.
They fulfilled the Scriptures as they were bearing one another's burdens...
and fulfilling the law (and love) of Christ.

Jesus set our example for COMFORT many times, but especially in John 11 when he COMFORTED Mary and Martha at the death of their brother, Lazarus. I just don't see how anyone can make it without the COMFORT of the Lord through family and church family. I guess they can, but it's difficult and they miss so much!

The Bible speaks of COMFORT in many places and the greatest chapter is Isaiah 40.
Here are some other COMFORTING Scriptures:

II Corin. 1:3-7 (NIV):
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." (Words of Paul to the church in Corinth)

Job 2: 11 following speaks of Job's three friends seeking to help him by philosophizing on 'why troubles' when what Job needed were hugs and words of comfort. Your presence and prayer support mean so much! This is one time when your presence speaks louder than words. Throughout this paper, I will emphasize the importance of church support.

We have been somewhat shut-in this year, due to weakness and difficult mobility.
A Women's Group from our church is called 'B.L.O.O.M.'
(Bethel Ladies Offering Others Ministry)
They have been SO faithful to stay in touch with us, sending us a card of encouragement each week.
Our Deacon and wife (Jim and Gwen Thomas) call often to check on us.

Last night a group of teenage girls (Acteens) came to visit, bringing a picture frame they made for us.

Speaking of concern, we had a good laugh last week when we noticed on our Caller ID that 4 of our children had called almost exactly an hour apart.
It was SO special, we wrote it down!

Kyle had called @ 4:36 p.m.
Kristin called @ 5:13 p.m.
Kevin called @ 6:23 p.m.
Craig called @ 7:11 p.m.

We know that we are BLESSED as there may be many parents who don't receive calls from their family.
We are so COMFORTED by the love and concern for us.

Psalms 23:4:
Sometimes Jesus comforts with the rod of discipline and words of correction...
then guides with the staff as a Good Shepherd.

Psalms 71: 21-24:
"God comforts on every side and we are to remember to praise Him in word, song and deeds".

Psalms 61: 1-3 speaks of many ways of comfort from the Lord.....
and Luke 4: 21 gives the fulfilling of this Promise.

We all need comfort, but may choose different ways to be comforted.
Some are good, some are bad and some are mediocre. For example, the use of alcohol.
In my day, there was a whiskey named 'Old Comfort'.
I'm sure that the results of drinking it did NOT bring comfort!

I like the old song, "Where Could I Go But To The Lord':

Living below in this old sinful world
Hardly a comfort can afford
Striving alone to face temptations call
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

Neighbors are fun I love them everyone
We get along in sweet accord
But when I pass the chilling hand of death
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go, where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

Life here is grand with friends I love so well
Comfort I get from God's own Word
But when my soul needs manna from above
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

In the balance of this paper, let me share our needs and the meeting of these needs in Jesus, the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. (The Great Comforter) Please read Job 16:7-14.

David experienced this and wrote about it in Psalms 51.
I John 1:9 says:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse from all sin".
It is needless to carry around 'confessed and forgiven' sins.

Corrie ten Boom said,"He casts our sins into His sea of forgetfulness and remembers them against us no more...and He puts up a NO FISHING sign!"

'whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved'.
The Roman Road to Salvation is Romans 3:23; 6:23 and 10:9-13.

There are signs indicating that you are saved:
growth and fruit....or as some say 'know, grow, glow and go'.

3) THE COMFORT OF LIFE'S SITUATIONS is never to forget WHO is in charge!
This means:
'looking to Jesus...
living in the power of the Holy Spirit...
and don't mind who gets the praise as long as God gets the glory!

When you face giants, remember David.
When you face some enemies, remember Paul.
When you face death, read (and believe) I Corinthians 15.

Many times, the Bible mentions: 'Wait on the Lord' .....and 'Trust'.

'Streams in the Desert' devotional book speaks to this in the words by A.B. Simpson:
"The question often comes 'Why didn't God help me sooner?' It is not His order, for He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it.
His Promise to you is 'I am your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'
This will not come until you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet. Then He will say, 'It is enough'.
When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him....
just as much as your trials have rendered necessary."

Read more articles by Travis Wiginton or search for other articles by topic below.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Gloria Laroza T. 20 Sep 2007
It's such a blessing and a comfort to read this article. Thanks for sharing your godly wisdom and experience with us. God is glorified! Amen!
Sharon McClean 13 Sep 2007
Where could we go but to the Lord! That says it all Travis. What do people do who do not know Him and have no one to go to in such a time of need? Thank you for this beautiful and comforting reminder! Love you both, your friend, Sharon


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