February 28, 2005
Encouragement for Today

The Comforter
Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author, speaker

Key Verse:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV).

Devotion:

Have you ever had times in your life when you needed a holy hug? I know I have. There have been days when nothing else would do but for Jesus to wrap His loving arms around me, remind me of His precious promises, and calm all my fears. "Peace I leave with you;" He said, "I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). "In this world you will have trouble," Jesus warned. "But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

For about 10 years, I struggled with infertility and then the loss of a child. During that time, there were many days when there were no words to comfort me. More than my husband, more than my friends, more than my extended family, I needed my heavenly Comforter.

The Holy Spirit speaks words to our spirits to give us comfort, peace, and reassurance. Sometimes outsiders may not understand how we can have such peace in our lives when there is much turmoil, but the peace the Holy Spirit gives is supernatural.  It is the peace that passes all understanding.

One Sunday morning, I was teaching a group of four-year-old children the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. I painted a rather bleak picture of the 12 disciples and their teacher in a tiny fishing boat trapped in the storm: huge waves splashing over the boat, giant flashes of lightening, reverberating claps of thunder, up and down up and down rolling of the boat in the sea. Finally, I asked, "If you were caught in a storm like this in a tiny boat, would you be afraid?"

Then one little girl shrugged her shoulders and replied, "Not if Jesus was in the boat with me."

Ah, she understood peace. Jesus is always in the boat with us and He gives us the peace that passes all understanding, makes no earthy sense but is truly heaven sent. Only the Holy Spirit can give this comfort.

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, I need an extra measure of Your peace and comfort today. There are storms raging all around me, and at times, I fear that I may drown. However, I choose to believe that You are in total control of my life, that You will bring peace to my soul, that You will calm my anxious heart. Thank you for loving me, even on days when I fret and worry. In Jesus' name, Amen

Application Steps:

Write down what you are worrying about today.

Now picture Jesus in the middle of that situation.

Write down all of your problems that are too big for God to handle?

Reflection Points:

What does peace look like to you?

Where do you go to find comfort?

Have you ever been at a place in your life where a person's words could not comfort you?

How has God been your comfort?

Power verses:

"For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones" (Isaiah 49:18b NIV).

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:13 NIV).

"And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever;" (John 14:16 NASB).

"I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 16:7-8 NIV).

Additional Resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html

Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Speaker Team
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/messageclub.html