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Comfort Those Who Mourn
With no clear centers of gravity to strike, we have an illusive enemy. Our enemy would seek to corner us into knife fights, hoping to drag things out until we lose the will to fight. By utilizing many small but strategic attacks, the enemy hopes that we lack fortitude. The enemy uses "sand in the gears" tactics, hitting us in our comfort zones, eroding our resolve by targeting the will. The enemy sees us as soft and self-centered, impatient, easy to be knocked off-balance. The enemy wants our faith to falter, our morals to lack conviction, our greed for personal gain to overtake the grace of perseverance. But the enemy does not know our comfort.
Isaiah 61 begins: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn. (61.1, 2)
Paul could write the Corinthians: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1.3-5)
The early Christians understood trouble. They endured suffering. Paul encouraged them that as they partook of the sufferings, so also they would partake of the consolation. Paul wrote of being pressed out of measure, above strength, despairing even of life, of having the sentence of death within yet trusting in God which raises the dead. He wrote of the help received by the prayers and gifts of the saints. In 2 Corinthians 1.12 he writes: For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Creeds and catechisms have fallen out of popularity today, but I personally like the first two questions and answers from the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. The first question for instructing new believers in the Christian life asks: "What is your only comfort in life and death?" The answer given says: "That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yes, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him." That answer surely gives us something to think about!
The second question asks: "How many things are necessary for you to know, that you, enjoying this comfort, may live and die happily?" The suggested answer is: "Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance."
What did Paul, early Christians, and the Reformers all understand that perhaps we need to grasp today? To comfort is to soothe in distress or sorrow; to console; to grieve with someone; to cheer, gladden, uphold, sustain, support, confirm, reassure, encourage, and strengthen. We focus today more on the idea of being at ease in body or mind, of having sufficiency to satisfy, of being untroubled, healthy, soothed, without care, "snug as a bug in a rug." We think of comfort as feeling cozy, sheltered, having everything convenient, luxurious, roomy, and spacious.
God gives us comfort. God sent the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter, our Paraclete, One who comes along side of us. Godís people are not punished or condemned for their sins, for God has already punished sin at the Cross. God does not exact payment for what Christ has already paid in full. But He does chasten as a Father and discipline for wrongdoing. As Judge, God takes vengeance on all His enemies. As Father, God maintains discipline over His children as a parent. As Judge, God moves in retribution; but as Father, God moves to remedy. Thus, of the rod of correction, David could write: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23.4)
In the days ahead we can comfort those who mourn by sharing with them the hope within us, comforting them with the comfort given to us by the God of all comfort in Jesus Christ. As we listen, being slow to speak and sensitive in our speech so that it ministers grace to the hearers, we can encourage those around us.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4.4-7)
On September 25th, I received this:
I am the Lord thy God who speaks to you in the aftermath of calamity. I am with you to preserve you, to promote you, to empower you.
I am coming in judgment to My House. They cry out to Me, but not all. They call now to Me, though not all desire Me. I am resisted, mocked, placed among idols as equal to them.
I am grieved for My people are ashamed of Me. They cower not before terror, but before men. They desire the praise of men more than My praise. They desire membership and money. I will give them their desire, but I Myself shall withdraw. I shall step back and see what happens as their churches bulge and their coffers are filled. But they shall belch with that which they have sought for satisfaction. They will applaud. They will clap and get louder and louder. They will make a great show, a pretense of piety and praise, but inside, where they live and what I judge, they will be praising themselves for praying, for fasting, for advertising, for books, for all they have done, as if apart from Me they can do anything!
I am withdrawing now. My heart is grieved. The evil comes. I will repair to Myself now. I will mourn and wail now for what man brings to himself, for how he corrupts himself.
The 144,000 are in place now. I have Mine positioned. They are marked. All the hosts know who they are. My hand has been upon them since their births; from conception they have been Mine and nothing has touched them/their lives but what I have overseen, permitted, allowed.
It will not be a good day, but a dark day coming. My grace will sustain those who seek Me, the truth, at all costs. Compromise and corruption will enter the churches. Only those pastors who understand their roles as guardians of the sheep will lessen what comes. These will stand at the door with Me in front of them, guarding the door, guarding the gospel, protecting the borders, strengthening the walls of salvation. These must not listen to numbers or money but to Me.
I am withdrawing. Those who desire Me now must seek Me with all of their heart, mind, and soul. And I shall know Mine and who it is who still confesses Me before men and devils. I will test the hearts.
Strange fire is coming. My fire purifies, sanctifies, brings repentance, consumes sin that life and love may come.
There is much talk of war. You were told to prepare for war, and you have to the extent you knew. Now the war escalates, intensifies, broadens as terror strikes the hearts.
So many opinions about Me now, but who really tries to know Me? Have I not revealed Myself? Have I not told you all you need to know, all you have to know? But what value was put on Me, on My Word? I shall see now.
Many will know My grief, My pain now, for they have caused pain, grieving My heart over and over. Others will grieve with Me, Mine, whom I have blessed, honored, exalted.
You will find the light within, first a flicker, then a flame. The third Day is first dark as death but then bright as life.
Comfort those who mourn. Keep yourselves from idols. Keep yourselves unstained from the world. Cleanse yourselves of all that defiles flesh and spirit now.
The rain is coming, and then the wind of My spirit will shift again. I will blow across Asia taking Mine. They will know that I have heard the cry of the Son whose Name they mock. They plot a vain thing. They challenge Me not just America. Who is the true God? They oppose the God of the Jews and Christians because they oppose Me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They know more the holy war they begin, for they move against the "banner of the cross."
I am Jehovah Nissi. My banner is love, what they do not know. Psalm 139. Before I am finished, they will cry out to the rocks to fall on them and no cave will protect them. Does not My creation obey My command? I am the Lord. Besides Me, there is no Savior. Is this not about Me? Do they not defy Me?
But you, My own, must repent lest you likewise perish. And do not take pride in their fall lest you likewise fall. Do not steal My glory when I glorify My Name. In all the earth and among the nations I shall be praised.
And now know that I prepare the Bride. I sanctify her. I love her. I desire her. I bless her. I invite her. I seek union with her. Together we will march. Together we will have victory.
I prepare the sons of God now for dominion. There is much that is false, and the true are withdrawn, with Me, but soon we will emerge in power. I am coming in power and great glory. I am coming in love to a dying world, a world crushed in pride.
Watch Jerusalem. Stay ready. Keep your ears to the Spirit. Search the Scriptures for they point to Me. Come to Me. Strengthen your souls. Soak in rivers of living water, in My Spirit. Know that though the end of all things is near, I AM.
Where did/do I go when I withdraw? You will find Me there. I love you.
Your fellow servant,
Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things
are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me,
Do; and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4.8, 9)
© 2001 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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