Comfort? What Comfort?


English: Jacob refusing to let Benjamin go to ...

English: Jacob refusing to let Benjamin go to Egypt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 77:2 – My soul refused to be comforted.

Can you relate to this verse written by the Psalmist in Chapter 77? Have you ever been in such a dark place that you refuse to be comforted by anything or anyone?

One biblical character that clearly displayed such deep grief and sorrow was Jacob after he was tricked into believing that his beloved son Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast.

In Genesis 37:33-35, we capture the moment when Jacob was catapulted into an abyss of grief and sorrow that almost seemed excessive. He resolved to mourn Joseph’s death until the day he died! Why was his grief so deep? I believe that the answer lies beyond just the fact that Joseph was his favourite son. This was more than mere favouritism or fondness. There was something deeply spiritual about this grief.

Jacob was a father with prophetic insight into his children’s destinies. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we see Jacob prophesying with uncanny precision into the future destinies of all his sons in Genesis 48 and 49. By logical deduction, it will be safe to suffice that Jacob sensed that there was great prophetic destiny resting on the shoulders of his dear son Joseph.

He knew by prophetic impressions of the Holy Spirit that there was something extra special about his son Joseph so when it was reported that he had been killed, it was near impossible to Jacob to reconcile all of this.

Here lies the crux of the matter. It is deeply painful to allow oneself to be guided and led against all odds by what they believe to be the impressions of the Holy Spirit towards a longstanding promise, only to turn around and find that the promise has been snuffed out or unfairly taken away. Such disappointments produce a mix of grief and perplexity so overwhelming that some permanently distrust God and turn away from Him for apparently letting them down. I don’t know what the dynamics of Jacob’s relationship with God was during this dark time but he refused to be comforted by those around him for 22 years!

I have personally faced such overwhelming grief and perplexity when I experienced such a disappointment. I refused to be consoled or comforted by anyone. I was so angry at God that my heart began to harden against Him and those I felt played a role in denying me God’s promise to me.

Do you know what its like to have a thousand voices try to talk you into accepting a lesser settlement than the very best of God’s complete promise? Have you found yourself ‘dumbing down’ God’s promises just so its a little more realistic or easier to achieve? If you are then I beg you to refuse second best. Don’t try to help God by lowering your expectations of Him. If it is His will, you can still trust Him for a miracle. Refuse to be comforted by anything less than the fullness of His promised deliverance, healing, breakthrough, reconciliation, provision or whatever else you’re trusting Him for.

We hear nothing of Jacob during the 22 years he refused to be comforted concerning Joseph’s death. Remember that at the point when Joseph was sold into slavery, Jacob was already 108 years old. He was already a mature father in the faith. He had wrestled with God and had his name changed to Israel. He had paid his vows to God and overcome serious challenges with God’s help. What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t necessarily attribute a season of soul darkness to spiritual immaturity. Sometimes God simply turns off the light switches in order to write a better story that will produce a greater testimony, strengthen many people’s faiths and glorify His name.

But what kept this old legend of the faith from completely giving up when a serious famine threatened to wipe out his family and an Egyptian governor (Joseph) had insisted on holding his two sons Simeon and Benjamin? It was the covenant he made with God at Schechem over 30 years before that point in time. That was when Jacob asked God to be his God. Jacob drew strength from the faithfulness of God. In the midst of the darkness, do you have a personal covenant with God that you can draw strength from? He was able to surrender everything to God in Genesis 43:11-14.

When his sons returned from Egypt and told him that Joseph was still alive, it was too much for Jacob to process. A promise he thought had been cruelly taken away from him for the past 22 years had suddenly come back to life. Genesis 45:26. Talk about the goodness and faithfulness of God. Jacob was being restored beyond his wildest imaginations. Despite his trials and tribulations, Jacob finished strong. He ended up establishing his family in the safety and abundance of Goshen in Egypt; he blessed Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the universe at the time; and he received a burial fit for a king.

Psalm 146:5 says, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

Hebrews 11:21 – By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on top of his staff.

I will finish by drawing your attention to the staff used by shepherds of old like Jacob. They would usually inscribe symbols on them to mark significant moments in their lives. Jacob’s staff was a journal of his key life moments. At the very end of his life, he leaned on his staff and worshipped the God who had written such a beautiful story with his life. Would you say he was comforted in the end? I would.

May Jacob’s story steel your resolve to serve God even through the darkest times of the soul. Serve Him through those moments where you refuse to be comforted. Serve Him even when it seems His promises to you have been broken. Like Joseph, you too will stand and worship Him at the end of your days, when His goodness and faithfulness will comfort you. Lord open our eyes to see the big picture of the story You’re writing with our lives.

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About Watchman

...Just another young man walking out his faith by God's grace day by day. I love writing, I love people and I love Jesus. That's me!
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14 Responses to Comfort? What Comfort?

  1. bolu11 says:

    Nice to have you back Watchman.

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful message. I could not agree more that we should never reduce Gods promises to make them more realistic for our or other people’s benefit. Rather, we should remain steadfast and always hold on to what he said. Good reminder for every believer.

    Remain blessed and hope to read more blogs from you.

  2. Hi Watchman, we missed you but then I too have had time out, No the Martians didn’t take me away and then send me back because of loose parts :roll: I just had Life happen. Ron does not Blog much now either but always supports me, my withdrawing was not because of disappointment in God, He has never let me down ever, yes others have and I have by turning off the light and walking in darkness until Jesus rescued me, although now I don’t believe I really had the Light just a flicking candle. When I get perplexed now I turn to God not away, I have no doubts about His Love for me and I Love Him 100% even in my weakness and yes at times like you did, when feeling discouraged.

    When we loose someone we Love for whatever reason, we experience grief and with this comes anger and even fear, how are we going to continue without this much Loved person, death my seem bad but there are other separations that are even worse then death, does God care, does He ever leave us… Never! (see below) Take care dear Watchman and many blessings and thanks for sharing with us again, I have always respected your honesty and openness.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

    • I thought again about Jacob, sometimes as you shared Watchman it is not comfort we need it is God’s Truth, The Holy Spirit brings both, Truth sets us free from Satan’s Lies and control in our life which is what Psalm 77 is about, Jacob in his grief was believing lies about God as we see below…..

      Psalm 77:7-8 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.

      What was and is the Truth………..

      Psalm 10 – 14 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

      Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

      This is why I don’t doubt God, yes I have doubted my own worth but that was once again Satan’s lies, God is Love and His Love is pure, He can do no evil or does He willingly allow it, man reaps what he sows and the world is in Satan’s control, believing God does evil leads to doubts and fear, I believe God’s Truth not man’s fleshy understanding, I don’t go to them, I go to Him. Jacob in His sorrow believed God had changed His mind but we see this was not True.

      When we search for God with all our heart, we will find that He is 100% Love or we haven’t found Him at all.

      Christian Love from us both – Anne

      • Watchman says:

        Hi Anne! I sent such a long reply the other day but the poor internet connection here meant it never got uploaded. I was basically thanking you for such a wonderful reply to the post and also for being great blogging friends all this time. My circumstances have changed a lot since I first started blogging and that has meant a drastic reduction in my blog posts. However, I am very grateful that God’s love does not change with our circumstances. He has been there for me through thick and thin and I know He will continue to be there for the upcoming adventures in life. You may not realise it Anne but you spoke prophetically into my life by sharing Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” Thanks for soldiering on in Christ. Keep strengthening the brethren. God bless you both

        • Thank you for your kind words Watchman and you too have blessed us greatly.
          but yes I have lost comments too and I still have problems Posting but like you I persevere regardless of what comes my way and Ron does too thankfully.

          The Scripture I shared with you, Isaiah 43:1-3 is how God comforted me in a very painful time in my life but He also tells us to share His Truth and Hope with all His Redeemed Children, His Love for us is so great. I was encouraged also by Jacobs promise …

          I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

          Lets continue to share our Awesome God and offer His Hope and Comfort to those who are hurting and needing encouragement…His Strength is in His Love.

          Christian Love from us both – Anne

  3. Nneka U says:

    Nice piece….I pray that the good Lord will continue 2 comfort us even when we seem 2 doubt him

  4. Very good. Thank you :)

    • Watchman says:

      Thanks wp! Sorry I haven’t been very good with my replies and updates. Circumstances have changed a lot for me recently. I do appreciate your comment a lot. Keep writing for His glory.

      • God bless you, friend! You are in my prayers. May the Lord surround you now and always and move you forward in all things by His Spirit into His future and the inheritance He has for you. All for His kingdom and glory!!

  5. Amen! Such beautiful analogies and a lovely, encouraging prayer to wrap it up.
    Trusting God and relying on Him brings comfort and eventually turns situations around.
    Love is that attribute that would always preserve our relevance and keep us going.
    Life always throws a challenge, but love never gives up.
    When God’s love is in us, we tend to live selflessly for others, sharing cheerfully and consistently being a source of comfort.
    “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
    Very encouraging and enlightening post.
    Remain blessed!

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