Trust In The Lord

One Way to Prepare For 2022

Two Things Are Critical

As you embark on the journey in the year 2022, two things you do are critical.

  1. The CHOICES you make.
  2. The ACTIONS you take.

One – Choices You Need To Make Everyday

1. Choose to get excited about each new day.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 English Standard Version (ESV),

  • Each day is a gift from God.
  • Make a daily choice to rejoice.
  • Get yourself fired up for having another day of life and be glad.

2. Choose to be thankful.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15 (ESV)

  • Allow God’s peace both into your heart and to rule your heart.
  • It’s hard, if not impossible, to be thankful and miserable at the same time. Choose to be thankful.
  • Thank God daily for your daily bread.

3. Choose to be positive.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

  • Don’t say, “Good Lord, it’s morning” but say “Good morning, Lord.”
  • Make sure you get up on the right side of the bed.
  • As the late Zig Ziglar used to say, “Get rid of your ‘stinking thinking.’”

4. Choose victory over defeat.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:4 (ESV)

  • Remember the words of the old hymn, “Faith is the victory.”
  • Never forget it is the Lord who goes with you to battle the daily enemies and challenges. (see – Deuteronomy 20:4)
  • God gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. (see – 1 Corinthians 15:57)

5. Choose to live above the level of mediocrity.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

  • We are to work heartily.
  • Our work honors God.
  • Remember, in any endeavor of labor, our work honor’s God.

6. Choose to put the other person first.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 2:3 (ESV)

  • The late Christian motivational speaker, writer, and Bible teacher Zig Ziglar (a Baptist deacon and member of my church) said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

7. Choose to have hope.

Though he slay me, I will hope in him (God);

Job 13:15a (ESV)

8. Choose to keep on keeping on.

  • I had an Associate Pastor named John West that frequently admonished all to “keep on keeping on.” He would say, “Keep trying; keep doing what you are doing. Keep doing your best; never give up and keep on keeping on.”
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967, “You don’t get to the Promised Land without going through the Wilderness. You don’t get there without crossing over hills and mountains, but if you keep on keeping on, you can’t help but reach it.”

Two – Choose to take ACTION by accepting Christ as Savior.

The only way we can really have a winning 2022 is to know Christ as Savior. Do you know Him as your personal Savior and Lord? Here is how to be sure.

Man’s Problem:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23 (ESV)

Man’s Penalty:

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23 (ESV)

God’s Provision:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (ESV)

God’s Promise:

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)

To accept Christ as Savior – A Prayer of Salvation:

“Lord Jesus, I confess to you I am a sinner. I believe that you died for my sins and that God raised you from the dead. I ask you to forgive me for my sin right now. Thank you for saving me and for giving me eternal life. In your name, I pray. Amen.”

FYI – I originally wrote this last section in 1988 as an article titled “Our Need and God’s Provision” using the KJV as the Bible reference. It was published in “Motivators for Sunday School Leaders” by the Baptist Sunday School Board (now Lifeway Christian Resources).


True Comfort – Show Notes

Welcome

Welcome. I’m Jimmie Aaron Kepler, religious nonfiction author, bringing you inspiration, information, and practical suggestions on applying biblical principles to daily living. 

You can find out more about me and my books, sign-up for my newsletter, and find a transcript of this episode with show notes at jimmiekepler.com and that’s Jimmie with an ie. 

Howdy ya’ll, I’m Jim. It’s Saturday, December 4, 2021 as I record this from Dallas, Texas.

In today’s show, I’m talking about True Comfort. 

Now here’s today’s show.

Applying the Bible To Everyday Living 

I want to share with you a story about “True Comfort.” I was reading 2 Corinthians 1: 3–5 in my Bible. Here are some principles I gleaned from the Bible passage.

Introduction

Have you ever known people who, despite tragedy, comforted others?

I know a woman who, within two years, lost her husband, her father, and her two sons. When I saw her at the funeral of the last one to die, she impressed me by the way she graciously went around welcoming those who came to pay their respects. She offered comfort to others when you would think she would be the one needing the comforting.

When we’re devastated by personal hardships and suffer difficulties, finding peace and consolation is tough. We’re certainly in no position to help others.

Where do those who can comfort others while living through the aftermath of a tragedy receive the strength to help others? How do we grow through our grief and daily struggles to comfort others?

The apostle Paul was one individual who had learned the secret. He passed what he learned along to us in his second letter to the Corinthians. It is in 2 Corinthians chapter one, verses three through five, where we learn about “True Comfort.”

Principle One is The Source of True Comfort

Many people seek comfort “in all the wrong places” to borrow a thought from a song popular four decades ago.

Some people find comfort in thinking their problems are no worse than those of others. Some people in thinking things will improve without ever taking the required actions to bring about positive change. Still others believe their situation is so bad that it can’t be helped. Some people try to forget. Some people try finding comfort in exciting and dissipating pleasures of the flesh. Some in complaining and repining.

True comfort comes from God. He is called the “God of all comfort” in the Bible passage. Have you ever wondered why him?

It is because He is also the “Father of mercies.” The term “father” implies “source” as in the source of all mercies.

He is the source of all kinds of goodness and mercy.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change

James 1:17 ESV

Comfort is just one of His many mercies, and so He is described as: The “God of all comfort.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3 ESV

The God of patience and comfort

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

Romans 15:5

As the God of All comfort, there is no limitation to the comfort He provides.

The source of “True Comfort”, then, is God.  But when does it come, and how?

Principle Two is The Bestowal of “True Comfort.”

True Comfort is bestowed “in all our tribulation.” God comforts us when it is most needed we are told –

who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:4 ESV 

The Bible teaches God will not desert us in our times of need.

He’ll be there when we need him.

for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5b

He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to bear.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Yes, even in “the valley of the shadow of death,” He is there to comfort us.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalms 23:4 ESV

Indeed, the greater the affliction, the greater the comfort.  

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

As the sufferings abound, so does the consolation!

2 Corinthians 1:5 ESV

True Comfort is bestowed “through Christ.”

“… so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”

2 Corinthians 1:5

Just as with all other spiritual blessings, we find it only “in Christ”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:3

To receive the comfort that comes from God we must be “in Christ.”

Being “in Christ,” there are two avenues through which comfort is dispensed. 

The first is The Word of God.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 ESV 

The second is Prayer.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6–7 ESV

Principle Three is The Purpose of “True Comfort”

To comfort others,

“…that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble”

2 Corinthians 1:4

The comfort God provides through Christ is not just for our private consumption.

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”

John Henry Jowett (1817-1893)

Yes, our comfort is designed to be shared!

A case in point is how God comforted Paul. The Corinthians comforted Titus in the way they received him. 

I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy. For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. … Therefore we are comforted. … And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.

2 Corinthians 7: 4–7, 13

So comforted by the Corinthians’ reception, Titus’ coming, then comforted Paul. Yet Paul saw that the source of this comfort was ultimately from God!

This reveals another avenue by which God gives His comfort. It may come DIRECTLY from God (e.g., through His Word–Romans 15:4 ESV).

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4 ESV

It may also come INDIRECTLY from God, through the exhortations of others,

Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Sadly, many people neglect all avenues through which God offers “true comfort.” 

They do not feed upon the Word and pray to receive comfort directly. Nor do they develop the network of relationships with other Christians, through which God might comfort them indirectly when needed! 

But when all avenues are used, then “true comfort” is possible, and we can then pass it along!

Principle Four is A Consequence of True Comfort

Gratitude mingled with adoration is a consequence. The Apostle Paul began our text with these words: “Blessed be the God and Father…”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3 ESV

It was the “true comfort” he had received that moved him to praise God.

Such praise is only natural. Not only because of the comfort we have received, but also because of the comfort we can now pass along to others!

Conclusion

Are you lacking in this “true comfort”? Perhaps you have been looking in all the wrong places. 

It comes only from “the God of all comfort.”  

It comes only “through Christ.”

Are you in Christ? 

Perhaps you are not benefiting from the comfort God gives others. There are those who would be happy to share their comfort with you. But you must develop the relationships necessary for such comfort to travel from them to you!

Are you working on your relationship with fellow Christians?

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

Philippians 2: 1–5 ESV 

The passage teaches For those who are faithful Christians, having delighted in fullness of “true comfort”, remember these exhortations

Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14

Do these things, and we will all experience the “true comfort” by which we will want to say: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”

2 Corinthians 1:3

One Closing Thought

I’m a widower. I want to encourage all listeners to do their self-checks. My wife died of Melanoma Cancer. If you see a mole changing or a spot that looks unusual on your skin, get to the doctor. Do your breast self checks and get your annual lady exams.

Guys, get your annual physicals. I had a “man-exam” this past week with the PSA for the prostate. It’s no fun bending over and being checked, but it might save your life. Do yourself and your family a favor and do your self-checks.

That’s all for today. I hope today’s episode helps you find true comfort. 

If you enjoyed today’s episode why not subscribe via YouTube and sign up for my email? Also, I still learning editing of the video so my apology for the cough. I’ll get better and learn how to remove coughs, etc.

See you soon.

Lamb of God

The Good Shepherd

The Lord Who Heals

King of the Jews

King of the Jews

The term King of the Jews is very important when describing Jesus.

The Christmas Story

It’s associated with the Christmas story because the Magi used it to describe Jesus. They told King Herod they were looking for the King of the Jews who was recently born in Bethlehem.

The Crucifixion

And we hear this term again, very close to his crucifixion. When Pontius Pilate says, “Are you the King of the Jews? And Jesus says, “It is, as you say.”

Jesus, the Nazarene, King of the Jews

Jesus willingly went to the cross so that we could have salvation. And indeed, we did see that on the cross. It was written Jesus, the Nazarene, King of the Jews.

Guardian of Your Souls

Son of Man

King of Kings