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Volume 11 - Page 7 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
The Ministry of Consolation.
The Patience and Comfort of the Scriptures.
As one's experiences widen, the burden of sorrow as well as of sin becomes a reality,
and the need for comfort as well as conciliation a needed ministry. Sickness, anxiety, and
distress arising out of the state of the times call for a word in season. One after another,
loved-one or fellow-worker is laid in the grave, and the battle becomes more lonely, and
the day more drear. A doctrinal treatise is not necessarily "a word in season to him that is
weary", but true lasting consolation can only come from that treasure-house of truth--the
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we
through patience and comfort of the Scripture might have hope" (Rom. 15: 4).
The trial of Job will minister to the tried saint, and inspire patience and hope by seeing
the end of the Lord. The trial of Abraham's faith and the glorious issue of his trust in the
God that quickeneth the dead may be a special word for some in similar anxiety.
Whatever the sorrow, patience to endure without murmuring, without rebellion, with
undiminished faith will be a prime necessity, and comfort, sympathy and consolation will
ever be the greatest need. These two are ministered most fully by the Word of God, "that
we through PATIENCE and COMFORT of the Scriptures". These two mutually lead the
sorrowing child of God to look beyond the cloud, beyond the grave, beyond earth's
pilgrimage; they minister HOPE--"That we through patience and comfort of the
Scriptures might have HOPE".
"We sorrow", and here we share the common lot of Adam's race. "We sorrow not as
those who have no hope", and here we at once have ministered to our grief the oil of
patience and the wine of comfort, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words".
Behind the written Word is the Living God of that Word. His Word ministers patience,
comfort and hope. He Himself is the "GOD OF PATIENCE AND CONSOLATION . . .
. . THE GOD OF HOPE" (Rom. 15: 5-13). The Scriptures are the channel, God Himself
the source. We seek to obey the exhortation, "Comfort one another with these words".