One of the most difficult things in our lives to face is the overwhelming disappointment of believing in someone only to be disappointed. We have all likely experienced this because we all live with people, and people are known for being very disappointing at times. We make promises, we give assurances, but when it comes to crunch time, we are often less than dependable. The problem comes into the Christian life comes when we, who are so accustomed to human relationship, bring the same expectations of disappointment into our relationship with God. We think that just like others, God makes promises, gives assurances, and when crunch time comes, He fails to deliver. We think, when life turns sour, God is going back on His promises. The problem is that this is not the God that we see in the Bible. Over and over we see that even when people’s lives seem to be in disparaging tumult, God’s faithfulness defies all odds. Think of the story of King David. He was anointed king, he was then a war hero, he was then a fugitive, and as he even has to feign insanity, and then God fulfills His promises and makes him king and the forefather of Jesus Himself. Think of Joseph. He was first in his father’s house and promised much by God, then he was sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned, left there and forgotten, and then God makes him a ruler in Egypt. Again and again we see that God’s faithfulness is true even in the midst of circumstances that seem to prove the exact opposite.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 46. It starts off saying,
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though hits waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling” -Ps 46:1–3
The comfort that the psalmist gives is that no matter what the circumstances we face we can find comfort in the strength of God. The psalmist then goes on to speak of the incredible power of God over the world, and to speak of the life and peace found in the city of God. The interesting thing about this Psalm is that it begins by saying that God is our refuge and strength, and as it goes on there is something that is startlingly absent… Us. One might think that if God is our comfort and strength, the psalmist would go into a celebratory verse about how God has comforted them, saved them from their trouble, or given them help in the midst of the earth giving way that he mentions later, but we don’t see that. The comfort of the psalmist which God offers has nothing to do with the psalmist himself or his circumstances. So how can God be our comfort and strength? The psalmist tells us this later in the Psalm. He writes,
Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. -Ps 46:10–11
The comfort we find, though the world is falling apart, has nothing to do with our circumstances or what God does to save us from those immediate circumstances. Our comfort rests squarely in who God is and has nothing to do us at all. The reason that we can find comfort in the midst of difficult circumstances is because we know that God is God. In other words, the one who has proven faithful, trustworthy, generous, and powerful is God and no one else is. Not only is He God, all powerful, and without limitation, but He has also prepared the city where His people dwell. He is a promise maker who has every ability to back up His promises to us, and no circumstance can take this away.
Tenacity is the ability to grip or hang on to something. As believers, the tenacity of our comfort in life comes from the fact that despite our circumstances, God is God. His promises are good, His power is real, and His plan will ultimately be accomplished. Find comfort in who God is. Even though the world falls apart around us, this doesn’t change who God is. It is who God is that gives us comfort and strength.