In the western world we don’t like our Christianity uncomfortable. If we are honest we want comfortable Christianity. We want safe missions trips absent of any danger. We want calculated risks where no faith is required. We want vision that doesn’t cost us too much. We want promises to come to pass without prayer and persistence. We want the amenities of Christianity without dealing with our enemies. We want spiritual rewards without self sacrifice. We want a church that doesn’t have any challenges and requires no contribution.
In contrast Jesus told his disciples He was sending The Comforter because their uncomfortable Christianity required the Holy Spirit, who provided supernatural comfort in the midst of persecution, trials and tribulations in their pursuit to preach the gospel. One of the most overlooked functions of the Holy Spirit is to release divine strength needed to enable to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom.
I believe the reason this particular function of the Holy Spirit is overlooked is because it is not needed with our western brand of the gospel. The church will never see it’s need for a Comforter if the goal of our gospel is a comfortable life. If our primary pursuit as Christians is a comfortable life we will never encounter the Comforter releasing divine help, relief, aid and counsel in the midst of the world’s complex crisis and chaos.
Comfort is a pleasurable pursuit, but the Comforter is a person pursuing you in the midst of the uncomfortable. He is the God of all comfort but our goal should never be comfort. Comfort should never be our god because the Comforter is our God.
I believe things are getting very uncomfortable for comfortable Christianity to exist and that God is disrupting the lives of Christians who have disconnected themselves from engaging the uncomfortable life Jesus calls us to. We need to understand once again the supernatural provisions that the Comforter brings to us and through us for a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ.
Scripturally The God of ALL Comfort is always found in the context of ALL hell breaking loose. Great Comfort is always coupled in context of Great Conflict. Here is just one of many examples found in the Gospels.
John 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also…. ‘They hated Me without a cause…26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
The Apostle Paul was familiar with supernatural comfort superseding his circumstances so he could continue to preach and teach the Good News.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
The Uncomfortable Life requires divine intervention and demonstration from the Comforter. With all the conflict that is currently breaking out in our nation and world as Christians we cannot shrink back, shrug our shoulders and shut our mouth. The bible promises when we don’t know what to say the Comforter will tell us, when we don’t where to go the Comforter will guide us, and when we are being intimidated and threatened the Comforter will supernaturally empower us.
If we want to get more acquainted with the Holy Spirit we can’t ignore the problems around us, we must confront them. If we want the Holy Spirit to come upon us in power, we have to come out of our comfort zones. I believe God is inviting us to take step towards the uncomfortable so that we can witness the uncommon.
What can you do today to take a step out of your comfort zone?