Finding Comfort and Joy in the New Year

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 

I’ve not only written many newsletters about various Christmas songs and their meaningful messages, but I also start playing holiday music long before the “holy-days” actually approach. After all, could there be any clearer explanation of the gospel gracing the airwaves of elevators, shops, and even grocery stores than those found in tunes like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy 

After reading the passage above from Second Corinthians, I was reminded that I don’t have to leave feelings of comfort and joy behind me just because Christmas is over. Why? Because our Heavenly Father is the source of all comfort each and every day of our lives here on Earth. No matter what we are going through—or what we may face in the days and weeks yet to come—our merciful Lord will never leave us to handle things on our own.  He is ever-present and ever-ready to offer us his assistance and assurance because he has our well-being in mind. In Psalm 50:15 we find him telling us to “… call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

How do we give God glory by receiving His help—including comfort—especially in troubling times? Look at 2 Corinthians 1:4 again with me:  “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 

Part of the benefit of receiving comfort from God is that we will then have the unique ability to provide peaceful assurance to others. Friend, this is one of those mysterious aspects of being a believer: Christ transforms us, and this in turn transcends into His work in and through others. Look at how the Apostle Paul explains this divine process in even more detail:

“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.” 2 Corinthians 1:5–6

Yikes! I don’t know about you, but when I was singing about “comfort and joy” last month, I was considering all of the positive possibilities these blessings had to offer—and definitely suffering didn’t enter my mind at all! But this is not the way the Lord works in our world. He suffered in order to save; he sacrificed to take away sins. This is totally counterintuitive to our typical perspective about life’s circumstances.

With his heavenly assistance, however, our comfort—and yes, even joy—can continue all throughout the new, exciting year ahead.  And with the aid the Lord provides us, day in and day out, we will become better spouses, parents, siblings, neighbors, colleagues, and friends. So as you step out into this new year of life, look for opportunities to offer the Lord’s loving care and compassion to the men, women, and children with whom you interact. Let everyone experience the real source of comfort you’ve tapped into, something they can experience now—and for all eternity!

Happy New Year to you from all of us at Sonkist Ministries!

 Thought of the Week

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen