5 Ways Insults Can Reveal God’s Comfort
Three weeks ago, we began a four-part series on the blessings hidden in insults. In our first segment, we discussed how insults help reveal trouble spots in our relationship with the Lord. Part two explored how insults heighten our appreciation for God’s grace in our calling. Part three focused on how insults clarify our true needs. This week we’ll see how insults help us experience the Lord as the God of all comfort.
The God of All Comfort
Parents, imagine this crazy scenario: you have infinite funds, a bank account so large you could comfortably say to your kids, “Call us the mom and dad of all generosity.” Knowing the great joy in giving, you’d eagerly anticipate the moment your beloved offspring asked for anything.
So it is with the God of all comfort. In giving himself that name, God wants us to be confident that he has an infinite supply of comfort and an infinite desire to comfort us. Beleaguered by insults, we have an ideal vantage point from which to see the ways he comforts.
1. See God’s Hand
Accusations are Satan’s choice weapon, but take to heart this comforting insight from Understanding Anger by David Powlison:
“. . .the Bible is clear that those who oppose God and hurt His people exist for a purpose: they are God’s unwitting agents in the sanctification task. They act for their own sinful reasons, but also accomplish God’s purposes for good as He tests and transforms us through suffering.
They are agents of God’s loving discipline towards His people that we might learn patience, faith, love for enemies, courage, and every good fruit that can only be learned in tough times.”
2. See Your White Robes
Over time, unrelenting attacks take a toll on our sanity. Like Ingrid Bergman’s character in the 1944 movie Gaslight, we start to believe our accuser’s false narratives. Even if the accusations are partially accurate, the Lord comforts us with these truths:
- “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
- “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life” (Rev. 3:5).
- “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD. . .[for] he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. . .” (Isa. 61:10)
3. See Yourself Comforting Others
Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel once said that his primary motivation for trying to survive Auschwitz was keeping his father alive: “I knew that if I died, he would die.”
Similarly, when we encounter wickedness, we need this powerful defense against despair: the knowledge that God is planning a day when we will joyfully pass along the abundant comfort we’ve received from him (2 Cor. 1:3-4). By faith, see yourself being used by God to bless others, and experience his sustaining grace!
4. See a Coming Justice
Oppressors beware; God will repay. In Psalm 103:6, we see that “The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” Similarly, the encouragement of Psalm 37 is that “in just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace” (vv. 10-11).
5. See Our Redeemer
Insults on a loop agitate our soul. But we can choose to focus on the One who redeems all things, and experience his peace.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25-27).
Lord, let us receive these comforts as a blessing to you, the God of all comfort, whose joy it is to give them