COMFORT 2 COMFORT
Psalm 40:1-3 ‘When I waited patiently for God to help me, then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of a pit of despair, out from the swamp and mire, and set my feet on a rock and steadied me on a firm path as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praise to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he has done for me and stand in awe before the Lord and put their trust in Him’.
‘He has given me a new song to sing, of praise to our God’
From my own personal experiences, this is how I would paraphrase this verse.
“Because of what the Lord has allowed me to go through, because in His love He has tested and proven me, and because I have gone through the fire, the water and the murky pit of despair; and by His grace come forth dry, un-singed and not smelling of smoke and now as I stand on the rock; I therefore can Sing a new Song, a Poem of Personal experience, a Verse out of the black Vitriol of bitterness and a Testimony out of the Test. This is now my present and personal testimony, “God still saves!” Hallelujah, praise his wonderful name. Amen’’.
I listened to a woman’s amazing testimony the other night; she had really gone through it! Her theme was “are you in Pieces or do you have Peace?” She could testify as to how God had brought her through and now she was touching other’s lives! She had been comforted so that she could bring comfort. She said a lot of great things, but one thing that stuck with me was when she said ‘there’s no TESTimony without a TEST!’ Her testimony like many others reads like Psalm 40! God is not punishing us through the tests, He is purifying and perfecting us in Christ through them! He isn’t harming us He is honing us! He isn’t trying to shatter us, but sharpen us!
Lord strengthen our weakness with your compassion, and comfort us with your loving kindness. Amidst the changing fortunes of this world may we find rest in your peace. May we find cleansing in your presence and the enlightenment of your Holy Spirit all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Nestorian liturgy]
Lead us Lord, from the night of doubt and despair in to the daylight of dialogue and hope. Lead us out of the tomb of suspicion and fear, in to the life of faith and trust. Lead us out of the darkness and terror of hate into the sunshine of security and love; and lead us out of the gloom of isolation and hurt into the healing presence of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [Norman wallwork]