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COMFORT FROM GOD'S WORD!

 

 

The Lord laid this page on my heart some time ago.  It contains 27 short articles with comments drawn from Scripture to help those who may be hurting.  May the Lord bless them to encourage hearts and lives is my sincere prayer.

                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 27 (THE MOST PERSONAL ONE OF ALL) ... NOVEMBER 19, 2004 ...

My heart is sad today.

As you discerning readers all know by now, Sister Norma and I have lost a Grandchild this week.

A little boy.  His name was to be "Michael" too!

Our daughter and her husband were expecting.

I of course cancelled the Revival meeting in Alabama.  Pastor Harrell graciously understood!

I have spent time at the hospital and will today be at the funeral home and graveside.

The little fellow died in the womb ... not long before his scheduled date of birth ... and to most folks this would not be such a "big" thing.

But I strongly believe that the Word of God teaches that life begins not at birth ... but at conception!

In Psalm 139 it looks to me like the Lord is creating and fashioning a little baby even before He is born!  "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."  Again, this is all before birth, folks!

My goodness, God even called Jeremiah to preach before he was born!  Listen to the preacher give his testimony!  "Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."  Wow!

God cares for the babies ... even the unborn!

It is my conviction that little Michael is in heaven today!

And no one need write me and tell me that little babies go anywhere else.

When King David's infant died, he said:  "I can't bring the baby back to me!  BUT I can go to the baby and see him some day!"

Here's the Scripture.  "But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.  Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.  Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.  And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?  But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.  And David comforted Bathsheba his wife."  2 Samuel 12:19-24

I can't bring the baby back.  But I can go see him some day!

It breaks my heart to think of that darling little (well formed) body lying in the cold dark ground. 

But ... even there ... even in the cemetery there is comfort for the Believer in Christ!

One day Jesus is coming again. 

He will open those graves and out will come bodies (saint's bodies) to meet the dear Lord!

They were "planted" in the grave for this very reason!

They were (Paul said) sown in corruption ... but will be raised in incorruption!

They will be changed in a moment from a dead vile body to a glorious body like that of Jesus after His Resurrection!

Here's what Paul says Jesus will do on that great Rapture day!  "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."  Philippians 3:21

Here's my comfort today ... "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."  1st Thessalonians 4:13-18

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Pray for us.

 

 

 

ARTICLE 26 ...

The Bible says in Psalm 119:151 --- "Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth."

Jesus further emphasized this truth in Matthew 28:20 --- "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

And Paul reports of Jesus in Hebrews 13:5: "For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Yet Job ... in all his suffering ... began to doubt this great fact.  Job 23:3 --- "Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!"

Now, who is right, Jesus and the Psalmist ... or Job?

(And I think Job was speaking in a moment of great discouragement.  He knew better than to talk like that.)

THE LORD IS ALWAYS NEAR!

Even when He stands far off ... He is near!

Let me ask you a question.

When is the sun nearer to you?

On cloudless days when a light breeze is comfortable blowing?

Or when the fog is thick and the skies overcast?

Is He closer during the hurricane or during the heat wave?

Answer:  It is equally close in all those circumstances!

Then ... when is the Lord closer?

During that great revival meeting?

Or when you're experiencing a tremendous trial of some kind?

He is always close!

Again, here's our verse for today: "Thou art near, O LORD...."  Psalm 119:151 

I'm so glad our RELATIONSHIP with the Father remains the same ... wherever the circumstances of life take us!

Think of it this way.

When is a "son" more a son to his father?

When he is thousands of miles away on an around the world trip ... or when he's home for Christmas, sitting by the fireside with his Dad?

When is a wife more of a wife to her beloved husband?

As they sit at table together eating supper each night ... or when he's out of town working?

I'm so glad we serve a loving OMNIPRESENT (everywhere at once) Heavenly Father!

Thank Him today because He is NEAR!

In this great truth find encouragement and comfort today!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

ARTICLE 25 ... 

Let me first of all remind you that "comfort" is found in knowing our sin is gone! Jesus has carried away the load of our guilt and iniquity!  That's the focus of our Isaiah verse! 

Isaiah 53:11 says it very well.  "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

The verb "shall bear" (in Hebrew = "sabal") literally means "to carry a load!"  Jesus has taken the load of my sin and carried it far away!

Hebrews 9:28 also says it!  "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

The verb ("to bear") in this verse is "anaphero" and means to carry up and away!  (It is an aorist infinitive.  He has already done this for you at the Cross of Calvary!)

The Scripture reinforces the same truth again in 1 Peter 2:24 --- "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

Again here the verb is "anaphero."  However this time it is an aorist active ... proving that It was Jesus Who did the work of taking away our sin!

My point today is this.  Jesus took away our iniquity!

Are you saved?

If not ... here's the best news you will hear all day.

Jesus still cleanses from ungodliness!

He still takes away sin!

John 5:24 says this: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

Now I can't do this for you.

Only the Holy Spirit of God can bring you to the place where you are truly ready to believe in Jesus (unto salvation)!

But someone reading these lines this Tuesday may be right there!

If so ... I'll guarantee you this ... God will keep every promise He made in His Word! (Including the ones about saving old sinners!)

What a Saviour!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 24 ...

Christ Jesus has borne the weight of our sins, dear Believing Christian!  How we ought to rejoice!  Listen to Simon Peter speaking of our dear Lord:   "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."  (1 Peter 2:24)

He also desires to take our "cares" from us ... and carry them away!  Again it's Peter who tells us this.  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

The opening verb of our sentence, "casting," translates "epiripto."  It is derived from a verb that means "to fling or to hurl" something!  (To deposit something very heavy ... a great load!) It is an aorist participle.  Peter considers this such a tremendous blessing that surely every Christian has already done so!

Our verb here, "epiripto" is only found one other time in all of Scripture:  "And they brought him ( a little colt) to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon." (Luke 19:35)  Jesus, God's burden bearing Servant (like this little colt) invites YOU to cast your burdens on Him!  He can handle them all!

But what does that little word "care" mean? 

It is the little Greek noun "merimna."  It is only used 6 times in the Bible.  Each of those times it is translated "care or cares."  It has the idea of worries or distractions. Let me show you what I mean.  "Merimna" develops from a stem verb ("merizo") that pictures one "pulling a thing into parts."  (You could say "tearing it to pieces!")  One lexicon says it means "to disunite!" 

Each of you can identify with that definition!  YOU have had worries that mentally and emotionally pulled you in different directions!  You could get no peace of mind!  You could not concentrate your thoughts!  You were literally "torn up" over the issue!

Three times "merimna" is used in the New Testament it fell from the lips of Jesus as He taught His great parable of the sower.  In it He spoke of the "cares" of this world! Once again our Lord used the term in His later ministry where He warned of the "cares" of this life (Luke 21:34).  And in 2 Corinthians 11:28 Paul once spoke of bearing the "care" of all the churches!

But WHY would the Lord Jesus do this for you and me?

Peter again says: "Because He careth for you."

Our verb "careth" is the Greek word "melo."  It means "to be concerned!  Also it means "to be interested in!"  Vines Word Dictionary says:  "To make something an object of one's attention, especially with love and forethought and interest!"

As a verb our word is an indicative present active 3rd person singular term.  Jesus loved His children in Peter's day and continues to do so up until this very moment! Our text here is asking no question!  It is stating a fact!  He does care for His own!

By the way, that final pronoun "you" is in the plural form!  He loves all of those to whom Peter is writing!  And who are they?  Those who have believed in His Name! The blood washed family of God!  See 1 Peter 1:1-2.

Thank God for this verse!

Ponder it throughout the day!

Through it the Spirit of God will minister to your very soul!

He cares for you!

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 23 ...

Dear Christian friend, did you know that the Lord Jesus Christ has borne the full load of your sin and washed it away with His precious Blood? If you need Bible proof, here it is! Isaiah 53:11 declares: "He (Jesus) shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."  If you are saved ... your sins are gone!

Then the dear Lord also cares so much for you that He will carry the weight of all your worries and fears too! More proof needed? 1 Peter 5:7 says: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

But thatís not all! Our great God additionally asks us to let Him carry our BURDENS as well! Watch this verse: "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

My Brother or Sister in Christ, are you staggering around today with some heavy load? Is it nearly more than you can carry?

Why not claim the promise of this great verse?

Letís study it a minute.

The word "burden" is a good place to begin. It is a Hebrew noun ("yehab") that is only used once in all the Bible! Therefore it could represent a unique (one-of-a-kind) situation. Even if nobody has the situation you do ... even then ... cast that problem on the Lord (at His invitation)!

The word comes from a verb ("yahab") that means to give! This heaviness is apparently a trial that has been "given" to you by someone! (Better make that a capital "S" on Someone. For the Ultimate Controller of all our lives is the Lord God Almighty! Hence, this word means "that which is given by providence!" That which God has allowed to come you way! (If you canít believe that He sent it ... you at least must admit that He could have stopped it from coming ... if He had so chosen!)

The verb "throw" means to cast, to hurl, to fling! In our King James Version it is translated: cast away, cast down, cast forth, cast off, and cast out! This verb is in the imperative mood also ... telling us that God has worded this as a command! To get an idea of the type action implied here, notice the "first use" of our verb in Scripture. Hagar does something to little Ishmael: "And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs." Genesis 21:15 And hereís the second time the verb is used. Josephís brother are talking about him in some rather derogatory ways. "Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams."  Genesis 37:20

"Upon" is a preposition that does literally mean "on" or "toward." God wants that burden of yours!

What will He do for me if I cast my burden upon Him?

He will "sustain" me! The verb ("kul") means to keep or to maintain. In the King James Bible it is rendered in such ways as: feed, guide, hold or nourish! In its first Bible use (Genesis 45:11) it is translated "nourish!" The verb has a "time" sense which indicates ongoing constant action! God will keep on sustaining us! (At lease He has not quit up until this very moment!)

"Suffer" means ("nathan") to give! God says that He will never "give" us to being "moved" by these trials. He will give us stability through the storm! He always has given such power and peace ... and Heís still doing it right now! (Incomplete action!)

This English word "never" is just beautiful! It translates 2 Hebrew words. ĎLeí and "olam" means TO ... and ... VANISHING POINT. God here promises us that we will not be moved (immovability) until the very extreme end of time! This means "everlastingly."

The "righteous" are the saved, blood-washed children of God. The Hebrew word means right (in a forensic or court room or legal sense) or straight in the eyes of God.

And they will never be "moved." Now "mot" is the Hebrew verb and has the meaning: to totter, to shake, to slip, to be overthrown, to be dislodge or to drop! In Leviticus our word is expressed "fallen in decay" by the King James translators. (Leviticus 25:35 ... the first use of the verb in all of Scripture)!

Sounds to me like God is serious about wanting to take our burdens! He demands that we cast them upon Him.

If God so commanded this ... then not to do so would be a sin!

                                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 22 ...

God not only carries our sins (Isaiah 53:8 or Hebrews 9:28) ... and our worries (1 Peter 5:7) ... and our burdens (Psalm 55:22) ... HE ALSO CARRIES US!

Listen to what the Lord says to Israel in Isaiah chapter 46.

"Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."    Isaiah 46:3-4

What an array of verbs we have here as God promises His people "transportation!"

"Hearken" means to give ear, to hear attentively. (This verb God used is an imperative.  He commands this of Israel!)

The verb "borne" is "amas" in Hebrew.  It means (here as a "passive") to be loaded onto something (or Someone).  It is usually used of a heavy object.  Here's something else unusual about our word, it is only found 9 times in the whole Bible!

The word is usually found in the context of "loading" a beast of burden.  However in Psalm 68:19 David rejoices:  "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." The Lord takes us upon Himself (heavy loads that we are) ... and gives us His load (many benefits)!

Next the verb "carried" (Hebrew = "nasa") is used.  This word means "to lift."  That wicked murderer Cain declared in Genesis 4:13 "My punishment is greater than I can bear."  This is true of every sinner!  But God here promises that He will bear us even with all our loads!  In Genesis 7:17 the waters of the flood "bare up" the Ark of Noah!  Now that's lifting something rather heavy!

Now the second time the English word "carried" is used in our text ... it's a different term yet!  "Sabal" means "strong to labour!"  For example, Psalm 144:14 --- "That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets."  In Solomon's employment were 70,000 men who were just "burden-bearers" (using our word here).  1 Kings 5:15 --- "And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains."

Furthermore, God said to Israel ... I made you ... I will carry you!  (In Exodus 19:4 the Lord "flew" them out of Egypt!  Notice how Scripture words it.  "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.")

And God will "carry" His people all their lives!  ("even to our old age")  The expression "hoar hairs" means until one becomes gray!

BUT the Lord promises not only to carry us ... He will also "deliver us!"  The word is "malat."  It means to slip away or to escape!  (God does have a great "escape" planned for His Church!)  It's a Piel verb --- indicating intensely aggressive action!

Wow!

This is one of the greatest "security" verses I've seen in all Scripture!

I thought you might enjoy knowing a little about it today!

Live this Friday in the joy of knowing He carries you all your days ...and will deliver you in Heaven eternally!

Glory to God.

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 21:

Today our "COMFORT" passage is found in the Old Testament.

The verse that has arrested my attention is located in Psalm 119:50.  

"This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me."

Notice that the Psalmist is under "affliction" as he writes!  The noun affliction comes from a family of words meaning "to look down upon" ... then meaning "to depress."  He has PRESSURE on him!   It wouldn't surprise me that today somebody reading these lines also has "pressure" being heavily exerted upon them!  (Our word is translated "trouble" three times in the Old Testament!)  What do you do when the trials of life are so burdensome? When "depression" comes?  Do what the Psalmist did!  Go to the Word of God!

What can the Scripture do for you when you're under such "pressure?" 

David here found "comfort" in the dear Word of God!  (A Hebrew word only used twice in the whole Bible, the other place being Job 6:10.)  The verbal background of the word means "to sign, to breathe strongly, to feel sorry for, to pity or to console!  Wow!  Remember that Paul also mentions the "comfort" of the "Scriptures" in Romans 15:4!  (The Bible calms and soothes and speaks sweetly to the believer's troubled soul!)   Psalm 107:20 says:  "He (the Lord) sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."  That "healing" well may involve emotional help too!   And, again, it comes from Scripture. 

But ... what specifically did the Scriptures do for the Psalmist?  They "quickened" him!  The verb means "to live!"  It is so translated 153 times in the Bible!  It's "revived" 12 times!  And "recovered" 8 times!  Our verb here is in the Piel stem --- meaning that the action is INTENSIVE!  The Scriptures are hyper-active in quickening and reviving us!  (A lot more study needs to be done on the Bible usage of this little verb --- but what we've done here is enough to convince me afresh of the POWER of the Word of God!)

The ultimate truth of our verse is that COMFORT comes from the precious Word of God!

Hand me my Bible, please!

                                                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 20:

1 Thessalonians 4:18 says this: "Wherefore comfort one another with these words!" There is so much in that short verse!

If nothing else it lets us know that one great source of our comfort is THE WORD OF GOD!  "These words" refer to Scripture!

Secondly it tells us that the fact of the coming of Jesus (the Rapture) is a particular tool of comfort in our lives! We ought to dwell upon His return much!

Thirdly it says that we Christians are fully capable of comforting our brothers and sisters in Christ (again, via the Scriptures)!

Fourthly, here's proof that the "preacher" (Paul in this case) knows enough about comfort to give instruction about it!  I am telling you:  the Men of God can help you when you are discouraged!

Lastly, this is a command! We are expected to comfort one another! (God never demands that we do something we can't do!)

Oops! I just found our same command in a slightly different format. "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Let's all get busy helping one another! After all, when I am "down" ... you are "up!" And when you are "down" ... I am "up!" It just makes sense that we help pick one another up from the valley of discouragement!   COMFORT ONE ANOTHER!

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 19:

2 Corinthians 7:6 has a powerful statement!   There Paul says:  "Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus" 

Notice several things with me please. 

Firstly, even Paul got discouraged!  If HE did ... you can be sure we will from time to time.  Only the Lord was NEVER discouraged!    Isaiah 42:4 says of Jesus:  "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."

Secondly, GOD HIMSELF comforts His children when they are low!  That verb "comforteth" is our old friend "parakaleo" meaning to come to one's side (and stay there) to help and uplift and encourage them!  It is a present participle meaning that the action is constant and habitual!

Thirdly, those in need of help are said to be "cast down."  It's a Greek word that means lowly!  It has the idea of being bent down low to the ground!  (About as low as you can get!)  No one is so depressed that the Lord can't lift them up!  Glory!

Fourthly, one thing that may have helped Paul get out of his lowliness (or depression) was the coming of Titus!  Something that always seems to help when you're discouraged:  get around a Christian Brother or Sister and fellowship with them about the things of God!  (Some believers excel in exhorting and edifying others.  Meet a couple of those gifted believers and keep them as friends!)

Lastly, notice that Paul just seems to take this fact as a routine truth of the Christian life!  He just seems to mention in passing that God has comforted him (yet again)! 

Friend, let God come to you today and share love and comfort as only He can do! He has probably done that for you before ... and He will likely do it again ... and again ... and again!

Don't you just love Him today?

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 18:

Proverbs 17:22 says:  "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." The verse is almost self-explanatory.  Someone who is discouraged has what the Bible calls a "broken spirit."  Such a condition, if left untreated for too long, can have some damaging effects!  (Not being a doctor, I can't speak to the physical difficulties.  But I know there are some!  High Blood pressure, ulcers, sleeplessness, etc., might be included on the list.)  But I do know that spiritually a broken heart can "dry the bones."  It can rob you of your joy and victory in Christ.  It can knock you right our of your Bible and church!  It can bring disastrous results.

If you are constantly depressed, get some help somewhere.  Your Pastor, a godly friend, the Scriptures themselves, the dear Holy Spirit, a trained counselor (one your preacher recommends preferably), or maybe even a godly book on the subject might be of help.

I just know that discouragement (if prolonged) can be detrimental to you!  Proverbs never spoke more clearly!  Depression "drieth" the bones!"

While I certainly don't know much ... but I can point you to the ONE Who does!  And that is exactly what I've tried to do in these columns.

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 17:

Today's "comfort" verse may be a bit unusual.  But it has spoken to my heart this morning. 

1 Samuel 30:6 says:  "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

I suppose that after all has been said and done ... this verse remains a "key" to our spiritual health.  The last line of defense in this war against discouragement or depression is:  THE LORD HIMSELF ... and you yourself!  See in the verse above that David encouraged himself!  How did he do so?  We are not exactly told.  But, remember, David knows Scripture!  Maybe he quoted the 23rd Psalm during those dark days of his life!  "The Lord IS my Shepherd!  He leadeth me!  He restoreth me!  He is with me!  He promises me the oil of His holy Spirit! He will sprinkle upon me goodness and mercy!  He will maintain me forever!  (Wow!  I am getting help just typing the verses!)

Where did David get his help?  FROM THE LORD!  (See Psalm 121.)  "My help cometh from the Lord!"

There it is!  It just may be THE secret to it all!  When the hard times hit ... get alone with the Lord. Determine that things will not KEEP YOU DOWN!  (As good as the preacher, or the counselor, that best friend, your mate, that good book, etc, may be ... NOBODY OR NOTHING IS AS GOOD AS THE LORD in lifting our hearts!)

Ask God to make you an exhorter/encourager/counselor ... with a specialty in self-encouragement!  King David is the President of that group!

Don't say you can't do that!  (You can do ALL THINGS through Christ Who strengthens you!)  See Philippians 4:13.

I do not say this lightly or carelessly.  Go to your room ... and "encourage yourself" in the Lord! 

Technical note:  The Hebrew verb "encourage" is also translated in the King James Bible "repair" (47 times) and "strengthen" (42 times) and "prevail" (10 times) and "strong" (5 times) and "hold on" (5 times)!  What a word!  Those "translations"  just maybe the 5 keys to unlock your downcast heart today!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

ARTICLE 16:

Our verse today IS found in the old testament book of job chapter 16 and verse 2. there job says to his friends: "I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are ye all."

did you get that? job looks at his three friends and calls them all "miserable comforters." (this is an enlightening verse.) and truly they were terrible encouragers to job in his misery.

this leads me to a statement. no everyone will be able to comfort you in your time of need. in fact ... some people (if you are around them long) will make you feel much worse. they simply are not gifted with the ability to help others who are in distress or depression.

do yourself a favor. and do it now before heartache comes and clouds your judgment. select a godly friend or tWO who might be skilled with the ability "to speak a word in season to him/her that is weary." (this quotes Isaiah 50:4 which is speaking via prophecy of our lord jesus christ.)

maybe your pastor will be on your list of exhorters. or your Sunday school teacher. (or the bagwell web-site "comfort" page.) or that best friend (if you are so blessed to have one who can help life lifeís burdens).

and please keep that crowd away from you who can only see the dark side of life. (with friends like job had ... he surely needed no more enemies.)

happy hunting for your "comforters."

by the way, if there is just "nobody" who can help you, I have a suggestion.

the darling holy spirit is "the comforter." he is always by your side!

May god give you a "comfortable" day is my prayer.

                                         --- Dr. mike bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 15:

I have exhausted all my ideas about "comfort!"  What should I do?  I want to have a thought each day for those who may be hurting or discouraged or grieving.  I know what!  I can go to the BIBLE!  Just maybe there I will find a treasure trove of encouragement!  (Remember that in Romans 15:4 Paul mentioned "the comfort of the Scriptures" to his people!)

Well, here's the verse I found.  Isaiah 66:13.  Let me print it out word for word.  It's that important!  The Lord Himself is speaking!  He says:

"AS ONE WHOM HIS MOTHER COMFORTETH, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU; AND YE SHALL BE COMFORTED IN JERUSALEM."

(I wonder if Paul had this verse in mind when he wrote to the Thessalonians, telling them:  "But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:  So being affectionately desirous of you ..."    The verb Paul used for "cherish" is Greek "trophos" and derives from "thalpo" which likely comes from the root "to warm." It's a picture of the mother hen as she broods over her young!  She keeps them warm and fed and protected!  She in times of danger even puts them "under her wing!")

Here in Isaiah 66:13 the Lord compares Himself to a Mama who "comforts" her own children.  The verb (in Hebrew) means "to console or to pity."  (The root thought is "to sigh or to breathe strongly" in compassion and empathy!  He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities!  See Hebrews 4:15)  It is in the "imperfect" form here. That means that it suggests incomplete action!  God yet to this day STILL is comforting His people!  That includes YOU dear believing friend!  And the verb is in the "piel" stem.  That indicates the action is INTENSIVE active.  God really puts Himself into this comforting business!  God does everything wholeheartedly!  What would it mean when He does something intensively?  (Wow!)

From the verse it looks like God is a Success as a Comforter!  He says that He will do it.  Then it immediately says that IT IS DONE!  (Sounds like creation week, doesn't it?  "Let there be light!  And there was light!")  Maybe God here in human hearts is creating peace and joy!

Did you notice?  Read the verse again.  It's not hard to tell its subject, is it?  There's one word mentioned three times?  What word is it?  COMFORT!  The Lord surely led me to a COMFORT verse today!

Dear discouraged friend.  Let your Saviour today take you in His great big Arms and (like your Mother used to do) comfort, pity, love, smile and cuddle you until joy bubbles from your heart and soul.

Good news!  Just as He was a successful Comforter in Israel's case ... so will He be in your case!

By the way ... all this happens in "Jerusalem."  And the name of that glorious city, Jerusalem, has right in its "middle" the Hebrew word for PEACE (Shalom)!

Let me close for now:  SHALOM to you!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 14:

In the 11th chapter of Luke Jesus says something a bit unusual.  He had been casting out devils from sick and possessed people.  He clearly did this by the Power of the Holy Spirit within Him.  (He was given the Spirit "without measure."   That is, an unlimited supply!  See John 3:34 for proof!) 

Then it happened!  Some of His enemies said that He was casting out devils by the power of Beel-zebub.  (That's Satan himself!) 

By the way, in so doing they committed what the Bible calls the "unpardonable sin!"  That is not our topic today ... but it is well worth you study!

In defending His miracles of exorcism, Jesus said this: "But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you."  (Luke 11:20)

Here is my "comfort" point for today.  Jesus (Who had undoubtedly cast these demons out of those people by the HOLY SPIRIT) said He cast them out by THE FINGER OF GOD!  He just likened the Spirit to God's very FINGER! 

I don't know how you will take that word picture ... but to me it's POWERFUL! 

Dear discouraged believer friend, do you realize today that God has sent His Spirit to be your COMFORTER?  The Holy Spirit is your "paraclete!"  That means He goes by your side every hour to help you and strengthen you and life you up from the cares of life!

And that Holy Spirit (Who is by your side and within you today) is the very FINGER OF GOD!  God's finger created the world! (Psalm 8:3)  God's finger worked the miracles on Egypt!  Exodus 8:13)  God's finger wrote the Word of God, the commandments upon the tables of stone!  (Exodus 31:18)  God's finger wrote on the ground and scattered the enemies of the woman taken in adultery!  She was saved that day!  (John 8:6)  God's fingers (through Jesus) healed a deaf man who also could not speak.  Jesus placed His fingers in the man's ears and healed him!  (Mark 7:31-37)

Then don't forget those fingers of God are connected to His Mighty Hands!  (Think of all THAT implies!)  Hands that scooped out the oceans!  (Isaiah 40)  Hands that were pierced and nailed to an old rugged Cross for you and me!  Hands in Which he has engraved the names of all his children!  (Isaiah 49:16)

I've said all that to say this:  Discouraged friend, the FINGER of God (the Holy Spirit) is with you today to help you!  Let Him be the "lifter up of your head", and hands, and heart today!  (Psalm 3:3)

That's a powerful therapy!

You and GOD have a good day!  (I'd say anywhere God is ... it will be a good day!)   

Someone e-mail me if these "comfort" articles ever help!  (I do believe they're helping me.)

                                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 13:

May you find encouragement in the verse for today is my prayer!

Proverbs 12:25

"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop; but a good word maketh it glad."

That word "heaviness" is really the Hebrew noun for anxiety, worry or fretfulness. I wonder today if someone is reading these lines whose heart is loaded with worry. You feel you can go no further. If so, this Proverbs verse may be just for you!

The verb "maketh it stoop" is a word meaning to "depress." Have your sorrows and trials become so heavy that they have put you into depression? Again, this very verse may be for you!

Here is the good news! It is possible (again, according to our verse here) for this "depression" to be transformed into gladness! The verb "maketh glad" is in reality "to brighten" or be joyful. (It is translated "rejoice" 95 times in the Old Testament.) Sadness turned into gladness!

I need to tell you one more thing about that little word "stoop." In the Scriptures it is translated 99 times "to worship!" That literally says that when Solomon had a heavy heart, when problems bent him so low he "stooped" ... he just bowed down and worshipped God! (Thatís exactly what Job did when his troubles came. He worshipped God! Read Job 1:20!)  No matter how you "feel" today ... take some time and bow down and love, adore,  or worship your heavenly Father!

But ... what "triggered" this move from depression to gladness? The answer is in the verse. It was "a good word." Those words simply translate the common Hebrew terms for "good word!"  Itís the adjective "good" that means active good! Good that spreads! Good that influences! And the noun "word" is word with power! Word that accomplishes its goal!

If we could just find the right "word" for you today, your sorrow, grief, depression or pain just might be over!

I have an idea. Get alone for a few minutes somehow and take your Bible. Now see if you can find in it a "good word!" Itís there! Read it. It just may make you glad!

In prayer get a good word from the Father! Ask Jesus to speak to your heart as your Great High Priest! Ask the Holy Spirit to bear witness to your spirit with some good word from Heaven!

Get ready ... good words are coming! And when they reach you ... no more stooping! Just bright gladness and joy (and maybe even a little shouting)!

May God give you a "good word" is my prayer!

                                                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 12:

The "comfort" verse the Lord has given me today is found in Isaiah 50.  There the Lord Jesus speaks prophetically and says:  "The Lord God (the Father) hath given Me (Jesus) the tongue of the Learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary!"

Jesus here claims that He knows how to say words that will help the weary!  The whole phrase "to speak in season" is just one Hebrew verb.  That verb ("uth") means "to hasten to someone's side to help!"

Jesus is the greatest Exhorter (One Who encourages!)  we know!

The Hebrew ("yaaph") verb "is weary" means fatigued or exhausted!  The idea is one who is ready to faint!  Have you ever been there?  I surely have!  In fact, someone may be there right now!

If so, I have good news!  Jesus is fully able to come to you ... speak to you ... and relieve you of your weariness!

Cry out to Him!  Tell him just how you feel!  (He knows anyway!)  Place yourself in His strong hands!  He can bring you comfort and strength!

Memorize this great verse today!  If you can't learn it by heart ... write it down by hand (or enlarge it and print it on your computer) and keep it by your side the whole day long.  Look at it often.  Think about it over and over again. Then turn the verse into a prayer.  God WILL send you just what you need!

I praise His Name!

                                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 11:

I have spoken regularly of the Holy Spirit in writing this column. (You can't write about "comfort" without mentioning the Spirit of God!)

Let me say today to any discouraged Christian that your being strengthened and uplifted may not be something you have to do for yourself ... or something another has to do for you. It might just be a matter of being more and more saturated (filled) with God the Holy Spirit!

I'll try to show you what I mean. When the Spirit of God takes control of one's life, there are some things that will (automatically) happen! You will begin to bear "fruit" in your life! This fruit is not something that you have to produce either! It is something that is grown within you ... as you yield to that precious Holy Spirit of God!

Preacher, what kind of fruit is this? And here is my point. See how much of this "fruit" directly involves "comfort" in your life!

Here is the list: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Again, see how many of these deal with encouragement! (Peace certainly does! So does faith! Temperance (self-control) will help also! Joy is essential as well.)

I don't know if you see my point or not. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit (Who is called THE COMFORTER 4 times in John's Gospel) ... the more we will have just what we need to help us through our low times!

Glory to God!

I am praying for YOU today! I trust that something in this brief note will encourage your heart and give you strength to keep on serving our Lord!  May you have a better day this Monday!  Remember, the Holy Spirit is by your side (paraclete)!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 10:

Good day in the Lord!

Our prayer is that you will have a good (and a godly) Sunday!

I saw a verse yesterday that thrilled me!

Psalm 94:19 says:  "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."

The Psalmist is speaking to God! 

Notice that the writer has received COMFORT from the Lord!  HOW did he do so?  How did his comfort arrive?  (The way he got comfort should be a way I could get comfort!)  God is no Respecter of persons!

Notice that the Psalmist needed "comfort."  He was discouraged.  He was disturbed.  He was fearful. He was in a real difficult situation.  He was at the end of his rope! (Read verse 18 where he said:  "My foot slippeth!")

What brought him "comfort?"  Well, it was not really his comfort ... it was GOD'S COMFORT that did the job!  If we somehow could learn to tap in to God's Comfort we would be all right!  Man -made comfort is only temporary at best!

But HOW did he get the Lord's "comforts?"

This is strange!  He got GOD'S COMFORTS BY MEANS OF HIS (THE PSALMIST'S) OWN THOUGHTS!  The discouraged man's thoughts ushered in God's comforts!  (Amazing!)

Again, HOW did this happen?

That's easy to answer.  The Psalmist had learned to make his own thoughts correspond to God's thoughts!  (Here is a guarantee!  The PROMISES of God in Scripture ARE His COMFORTS!)  The disturbed believer here learned to think God's Word!  And ... that made all the difference!

Let me illustrate.

Think these promises today!

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  Isaiah 41:10

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  Isaiah 43:2

I will not leave you comfortless.  John 14:18  (The Greek term there for "comfortless" is our English word "orphan!"

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  John 16:7

There are 6,995 more promises in the Word ... just like these!

Think God's thoughts after Him ... and you will enjoy His Comfort today!  In fact, you will be "delighted" in your soul!  (If I had the time I'd love to share with you that verb "delighted!"  It is a jewel.)

Well, let's just do so!  It is only used at 8 places in the whole Bible!  It is translated "play" or "dandle" (to bounce up and down as one does a baby on the knee or in the lap)!  It even has the idea "to please oneself with!"  These "thoughts" of God that comfort us are mental "playthings" with which give us great pleasure and relief!  The imperfect Hebrew verb here mean constantly ongoing action. (Keep thinking God's Promises/Thoughts ... keep being delighted with "comfort!")

Wow!  I sure am glad I saw that verse!

May the Comfort of God be your today is my prayer!

                                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 9:

Our "comfort" verse today is found in Nahum 3:7.  In part that verse asks:  "Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?"  (Where will I find your comforters?)

Here is God seeking "comforters" for the people of Nineveh!

I have never seen that before in my life! (I've read Nahum numbers of times, but that verse has escaped my attention!)  God literally says that He had sought comforters for someone!

I believe God is no Respecter of persons!  (Don't you!  Read Acts 10:34.)  If He sought comforters for these folks ... He will  seek comforters for YOU, my dear believing friend!

Just think!  Right now, in your sorrow or hurt, God well may be looking for just that right person to bring you comfort, strength and Christian love!

By the way, that Hebrew noun for "comfort" is NA-HAM.  (It also is spelled NAHUM!)  Look at the name of the Bible Book from which our first verse is taken today! It is NAHUM!  His name means "comfort!" 

This is amazing! God is looking for comfort for those Gentiles.  Guess where that "comfort" was to be found? Right under their literary noses!  In the person of the "preacher" who has been bringing to them the message of the Lord! 

Now, I'm not saying that only the preacher can bring comfort.  NO!  But I am saying your comfort may be closer than you think!  (Like on a web site!  Or at Church tomorrow!  Or from your best friend!  Or maybe a source yet unknown!)  Perhaps God is still looking!  But ... He will find you some comfort.  And He will bring it (him/her) to you!  He has said so in His Word!  And, remember, God can not lie!  (Titus 1:2)  It is the Lord's very nature to bring comfort!  He IS Comfort! 

Along that same line I found another verse!  This one is in Isaiah 51:19.  Here the Lord asks Israel:  "By whom shall I comfort thee?"  Comfort here is the very same root word Nahum used, but this time it's a verb and the sentence action is in a different stem. Now our verb is a Piel imperfect.  That means it expresses intensive action! (God is searching DILIGENTLY for comfort for them!)  The imperfect time sense means the action is incomplete!  (God kept on and kept on searching for someone to give them compassion and mercy!)

Therefore, armed with 2 good Bible examples, I say unto you:  Beware!  Today just may be the day your COMFORT comes!  (God is looking for it now!)  If help and strength and a little relief arrive, please take time to e-mail me and let me know!  I'd like to rejoice with you!

(To be Biblically "honest" with you, I must add something.  Both Nineveh and Israel may have "missed" their God designed "comfort!"  HOW?  If you will read the texts carefully ...both nations were living sinfully.  Sin can BLOCK God's blessings, including His comfort!  HOW can I avoid that, preacher?  I've just GOT TO HAVE God's help now!  Here's how.  Jesus died to save us from our sin!  If you are lost ...  and the Holy Spirit is convicting you ... TRUST JESUS today!  He will save you! Then the Holy Spirit moves into your very being! (1 Cor. 6:19,20)  If you are already saved, confess (and forsake) your sins (1 John 1:9).  Our God is faithful and just and will forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.  Then ... as far as I can see ... the comfort "channel" is open!)

May God give you a good Saturday (and a godly Saturday) ... and a Saturday with real traces of His Comfort ... is my sincere prayer!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 8:

I surely have enjoyed studying and writing these "comfort" articles!  God has encouraged my own soul through the Scripture shared on these pages.

The only problem is that no one will admit they need any "comfort" or "strength" any more!  So ... I don't know if anybody has gotten any help here or not!

Maybe the Lord just has me writing it to help "me!"  And that's all right if it's His Will!

All I know is that I am pretty sure He laid this page on my heart and led me to begin it.  The old (now dead and with the Lord) preacher Joseph Parker said: "Preach to hurting men, and you will never lack for a congregation!" Just maybe he was right!

Today's "verse" is found in 2 Corinthians 13:11.  "Finally, brethren, farewell.  Be perfect, BE OF GOOD COMFORT, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."  What a verse! Note especially the part that says "BE OF GOOD COMFORT!"  Paul here is giving a series of "commands" to the believers in Corinth!  The verbs are in the imperative mood!  The verb to be of good comfort is "parakaleo" which we have studied earlier in these columns.  (It's still on the page below today's notes.)  It means to realize and act upon the fact that Someone (the Holy Spirit) can been called to be by your side to strengthen you and help you every moment of every day!

But here's my point today!  "Comfort" or being "encouraged" can't be just an emotion!  It can't be just a feeling! Not for the Christian, anyway!  You see, Paul has here just commanded us to be comforted! You CAN NOT COMMAND an emotion!  You can't tell a man "BE SAD!  Sadness is an emotion. Emotions can't be made to come or go on command!  You can't tell a may, "CRY!"  One cannot cry (an emotion) on command. 

IF PAUL HAS COMMANDED THESE CHRISTIAN TO BE COMFORTED ... COMFORT MUST BE SOMETHING WE CAN BRING UPON OURSELVES BY OBEDIENCE TO THE PROMISES OF GOD! 

Now I am not trying to make anybody feel bad today.  I am not saying that you are especially weak or immature because you are discouraged.  It happens to us all!  But I m saying that there are enough Bible promises, and enough of the Holy Spirit of God, and enough of the GOD of all comfort TO MAKE US ENCOURAGED AND UPLIFT US ALL if we would just believe what They've said to us and lean on them!

I am not going to sit around for days and have a "pity party," when I can get up ... dust off the seat of my pants ... meditate on a Scripture or two ... lean on the Almighty God who created this universe and saved my soul ...  and shout GLORY!

I intend to "BE COMFORTED!"  (You all may have to preach this back to me some day next week or next month!  Thank God for what is available to us through our dear Savior, our Advocate.  That word "advocate" means comforter!  It is in Greek paraclete!)

I feel encouragement and strength flowing from HIM to me even as I write this note on Friday morning at 1:00 AM in a motel room in Kimball, Tennessee!

I pray this helps someone today!  (Someone besides just me.)

                                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 7:

In past days we have looked at the meaning for the Greek word "comfort."  (The columns are still on the page here if you care to review.) 

Today I want to give you the English word "comfort."  It comes to us from Latin.  It is two words (a preposition and a noun) fused together.  "Com" is Latin "cum" and means "with."  "Fort" is Latin "fortis" and means courage or strength."  (As in FORTitude!  Or an army FORT!)

When we say that the Holy Spirit gives you comfort, we do NOT mean that He simply pities you or wipes your tears.  (He does that ... but He does so much more!)  He actually "com + forts" you!  He comes to you (para + clete!) and shares with you the very STRENGTH, COURAGE, FORTITUDE of God Himself!

The COMFORTER (Holy Spirit) really empowers you to face life with all its hurts and trials and pressures!  Wow!  What a blessing to know!

Remember, not only is the Spirit our Comforter!  God the Father is the God of all COMFORT!  And God the Son is the ADVOCATE, Which is the word Comfort also!  And the Scriptures give us COMFORT (Rom. 15:4) as well!

We have strength available today!  Let's "tap" into it and live for God!

                                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 6:

It seems the Lord gives me one more new thought each day for these "Comfort" pages!  I thank Him for it.

In Acts 4:36 we meet a new man in Scripture.  His name is Barnabas.  Here's what the Bible says about him:  "And Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, THE SON OF CONSOLATION,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus."

That word "consolation" is "paraclete" in Greek!  You know what that means by now!

Nearly every time you see this man in Scripture, he is encouraging someone!  Here in our verse, where we first meet Barnabas, he is selling his land and giving the money to the church.  What an uplifting thing to do!  (At least if you were hungry and that money helped feed you and your family, you would be encouraged!)

If we had time we would look at each appearance of Barnabas and soon we would see that he was gifted as an "exhorter."  The word simply means to uplift or help. 

Here's my point.  There are certain believers whom the Lord equips to be "comforters" to His people.  Barnabas types are still around today!

Let me make a suggestion to anyone who may be going through a time (maybe even an extended time) of discouragement or depression.  FIND AN EXHORTER, A COMFORTER, A PERSON GIFTED IN UPLIFTING GOD'S CHILDREN ... and spend time around them!

You know as well as I do that some folks (if you're around them much) will just further discourage you!  But others (praise the Lord) are the very opposite.   They always seem to be able to share strength and joy with whomever they meet!

I'll guarantee you that down at the church you attend God will have someone who can be an uplifting influence in your life!  (A bit of advice here:  This works best if men encourage men and ladies encourage ladies!)   Even if the Pastor is going to do the exhorting (and a lady is involved) insist that his wife be present as well!  No need to complicate the problems, is there?

You might be saying, preacher, I don't doubt what you're telling me ... BUT I know of absolutely NO ONE who can help me.

Well, then ... this is the next course of action.  PRAY that God will bring a sister or brother into your life who can be a source of strength and encouragement!  God does answer prayer!  By the way, give Him time to answer! 

Next, if the problem is that severe, READ these "Comfort" pages every day!  They will be loaded with Scripture and (as we saw yesterday) Scripture gives us strength and comfort!  In fact, if no friend is available at all ... stay with the notes here.  (Or go to the Christian book store and get a volume or two on encouragement.  That can help.)  If you can't find anything, e-mail us.  We will recommend something to you.  Several books come to mind (in all price ranges).

One last thing, if nothing else works may I remind you that David "encouraged himself" in the Lord!  The verse I'm alluding to is found in 1 Samuel 30:6.  God can teach you how to do that.  (If you learn ... you'll be like a car!  You'll carry your own battery pack to get you started and your own generator to keep you going!)

All I'm trying  to say is that we're concerned about you and want to help you be encouraged!

                                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 6:

I am excited today about the verse the Lord has shown me!

It is found in Romans 15:4 and uses the specific words:  "The Comfort of the Scriptures!"

Here's the whole verse:

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES might have hope."  What a verse!

That word "comfort" is our old friend "paraklesis" again!  (See the Sunday, Nov. 2nd article below!)  We can get comfort from God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and (now) EVEN FROM THE SCRIPTURES!

But preacher, how can I get help and strength and companionship (all 3 are definitions of that word paraklesis) from the Scriptures?

Just think!  How many of the Psalms begin with the writer discouraged (or even depressed)?  In some of the Psalms David is fearful or in danger or fleeing from Saul!  In some he is even angry it seems!  There are even a few chapters in Psalms where the author is hurting (physically at times and emotionally at times)!

But in every case (without exception except maybe once) by the time you reach the END of the Psalm something has happened!  What?  They have been "helped" by the very Scriptures the Holy Spirit led them to write!

I am telling you there is POWER in the Word of God to comfort a downcast soul (or heart or man or lady)!

Scripture can "exhort" says Paul.  (2 Timothy 3:16)  By the way, "exhort" is a verb form of our noun here ... paraklesis!

May I offer you a suggestion today?  In fact, I'll think I'll take a dose of my own "medicine" here!  GET INTO THE SCRIPTURES AND READ AND READ AND READ!

I heard a preacher say once:  "For every SIGH (heartache) ... there is a PSALM!"  Just maybe that is so!

I used to have a little "habit" when I was discouraged.  Let me tell you about it.  When the old devil hit me with both feet and knocked me over with depression or defeat ... I would get my Bible and begin reading (guess where?).  Yes!  In the Psalms!  AND I WOULD (THAT DAY) READ EVERY PSALM IN THE BOOK.  There are 150 of them!  It would take a while ... but without fail ... my depression would vanish!  My discouragement often was transformed into excitement about the things of God!  It was like a tonic for my spirit!

(I really think that when the devil sees that discouragement is going to DRIVE you to the Scriptures, he will "back off" and try something else in your case!  His last desire is to put you in the MIDDLE of the Bible!)

And it does not HAVE to be just the Psalms.  There's a whole Bible filled with encouragement available to each of us!  (1189 chapters!)

WOW! This has been a help to me today!  (And I pray it will uplift someone else too!)  That's why these pages are here!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

ARTICLE 4:

I don't know today exactly your heart's condition!  You may be worried.  You may be fearful.  You may be lonely.  You may be none of the above ... but something even worse.  BUT I DO KNOW THIS ... there is a God in Heaven ... and HE KNOWS exactly what you're going through today!  He not only knows ... HE CARES!

He cares so much that He sent His Son to this old world!  Jesus came to (and now I am going to quote Isaiah 61:1 where Jesus says):  "HE HATH SENT ME TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED ... TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES ... TO COMFORT ALL THAT MOURN!"  The word "brokenhearted" contains the idea of being "crushed!"  (Anybody reading this been "crushed" by the problems you face?)  Jesus can "bind you up!"  That verb means to "heal!"  The word "captives" means "taken away!"  Has something happened to you that has literally changed your world?  (Taken away your family or job or hearth, etc.?)  And the word "mourn" comes from a Hebrew root verb meaning "to cry, to wail out loud in grief or pain!"  And Jesus came to comfort you in such hurting!

What can Jesus do for me, preacher?  Oh, the answer is in our verse!  He will (Isaiah 61:3) "give beauty for ashes!  oil of joy for mourning! the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!"  (Wow!  What a trade!)  Stay with Jesus!  Lean on Him!  Cry out to Him today!  Cry your tears in His Presence!  Tell it all to Jesus!  He offers you a trade!  Take it!  Lean on Him!

And ... when He does just what He said He would do (AND HE WILL) ... do this one thing for Him:  THANK HIM!  GIVE HIM THE GLORY!  And God will be honored! 

How can Jesus do all that?  By means of the fact that He died on the Cross.  He shed His Precious Blood to save us from our sin.  He has become our High Priest now in heaven (at the Right Hand of God) and is praying for us this very moment!

Accept His comfort! 

You'll find Him REAL and TRUE to His Word!

Goodness!  I'm feeling better already!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 


ARTICLE 3:

We discussed here Friday that one of the "key" Bible words for  "comfort" is the little Greek term "paraclete." 

We learned that it meant "one called alongside to help and strengthen!"

I just can't tell you what an encouragement that "word picture" has been to me through the years!  When I am disheartened (or even depressed) I just remember that the Lord is there by my side.  His Arm around me!  His Strength upholding me!  His Eyes upon me!  His Hands defending me!  (WOW!)

But ... this week I saw something about this "paraclete" thing that I've never realized before! 

*    Scripture calls God the Father our "Comfort!"  (Paraclete)  2 Corinthians 1:3

*    Scripture also calls God the Son our "Comforter!"  (Advocate = Greek "Paraclete")  That's in 1 John 2:1 where we're told that if we sin, Jesus is our Advocate!  The word Advocate is the word Paraclete!)

*    And Scripture calls God the Holy Spirit our "Comforter!"  (Paraclete)  In fact, "Comforter" is one of Jesus' favorite Names for the dear Holy Spirit.  And that very word "Comforter" is translated from the Greek noun "paraclete"!  (John 14:16 and 26!  Plus John 15:26 and John 16:7)

Do you realize what that means?  Everywhere I go today, the Godhead (Trinity) is with me!  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is "paracleting" me!  (Going with me by my side! Helping me!  Strengthening me!  Whispering in my ear!)

Glory be to God!

Now ... there's some encouragement!  I just believe that will help anybody!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 2:

Isaiah 40:1 says:  "Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God."  What a verse this is!  It has undoubtedly given help to multitudes through the years!

The verb "comfort" above means (in Hebrew) "to sigh, to breathe strongly" ... then it comes to mean "to console, to pity." 

This alone proves that God is the God Who CAN provide whatever we need in our times of trial and heartache.  (God cares!  His desire is to minister to us in times of need!)  The verb "comfort" is in the imperative mood.  That means it is a command!  God literally commands Isaiah to "comfort" the people of God!  (God never commands something unless it is in His will to do it!  If God commands it, He WILL give the power to do it!)

Just think!  One of the "jobs" of a preacher is to help "comfort" God's hurting people!  By the way, if you are indeed in a time of sorrow or pain today ... by all means you must go to church tomorrow!  Sit under the voice of a man of God as he opens the Bible and preaches words of comfort to discouraged souls!  He is under a command to "comfort" you!  His very ministry is designed to help YOU in YOUR TIME OF NEED!  Go let that preacher help!

The verb "comfort" also in the "piel" stem (Hebrew).  That means that it is intensive active (voice).  This comfort from God (through one of his messengers)  is to be vigorously administered.  "Comfort the hurting with all the strength you have" ... God charges Isaiah!

And just HOW is that to be done?  What is it that comforts the downcast?  Well, the rest of Isaiah answers that question. The answer is JESUS!  This last section of Isaiah (chapters 40-66) is full of references and prophecies and descriptions of the Lord Jesus Christ!  After all, HE IS OUR COMFORT!  Want a verse to prove that?  Paul supplies it in Ephesians 2:14 where it is declared of Jesus:  "He is our PEACE!" 

If you're in need of help today, go to Jesus!  He is the COMFORTER!  He can do what no other one can!

I'm not trying to be simplistic!  I just know that that preacher who loves God ... and the God who saved him ... can provide the COMFORT you need today!

I hope this helps "lift" some dear believer today.

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

ARTICLE 1:

This is the very first article on the "Comfort" page and I am excited about it!  Everyone needs some encouragement  ... and a few of us at any given time are really going through some "down" experience or some real crisis in our lives.  So ... here goes!

The Bible says (in 2 Corinthians 1:3):   "Blessed by God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT."  Please notice one of the Names for God:  THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT!

That title is our focus today!  The Greek word for our God of all "comfort" is "paraklesis."  That is a compound noun which means (para = alongside plus the root verb kaleo = to call or to summon) Someone Who is come alongside us to help us and to strengthen us as we walk our daily journeys!

Have I got some good news for you today, dear "hurting" friend!  Someone (the Almighty God of the universe) is there beside you!  He will not leave you all day!  He has that Big Strong Arm of His around you!  (Those are "everlasting arms!"  Deuteronomy 33:27)  He want to help you and strengthen you hour by hour!  You are not alone!

Recognize His Presence!  Talk to Him!  Ask Him to make you more AWARE that He's there!  Lean on Him!  (He's Strong!)  Ask Him for advice!  (He promises to give you wisdom for the way!  James 1:5)  He will not fail you!  Remember ... He's also has been lonely (Gethsemane)!  He's also hurt deeply (Calvary)!  He's knows what it is to be talked about (folks even said He had a demon)!  He is "touched" with the feeling of your infirmities!  (Hebrews 4:15)

Also please notice that He's the God of ALL comfort!  A Pastor may know one kind of comfort that can help you.  Your husband or wife may know another kind.  A counselor may know yet a third type of therapy.  BUT ONLY "ONE" KNOWS ALL COMFORT THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR YOU ... AND THAT "ONE" IS GOD!

Bow your head!  Close your eyes!  Ask Him right now to help you through this!   He can do it ... and He will do it!  It's a promise! 

Well, I have to go for now.  But the good news is ... HE doesn't have to go!   Remember ... He's by your side!  That's the very meaning of the God of all COMFORT!

I sincerely pray that you have a better day (to the glory of God) today!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

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