MMP: The Idol of Comfort

November 27, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Dave Hallahan.

Today’s sermon was entitled Safe Under Attack and Pastor Mark took us through Psalm 3. This is a Psalm David wrote while under siege from his son, Absalom. Surely, David was under great distress and when the problem he was currently facing is traced back it is clear that David is the cause. Despite this, David’s focus remains on the Lord.

What struck me most was something Mark said while praying before the sermon really started. “We tend to make an idol out of smooth sailing.” So much of our lives are spent worshiping at the altar of comfort. We routinely make sacrifices to keep our comfort. But as Mark continued on he talked about how God is close to us when we are weak, uncomfortable, and in danger.

At this my mind was flooded with other verses: Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”; 2 Corinthians 12:10, “…For when I am weak, you are strong.” And especially the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:

  • Blessed are the poor
  • Blessed are those who mourn
  • Blessed are the meek
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • Blessed are the merciful
  • Blessed are the pure in heart
  • Blessed are the peacemakers
  • Blessed are the persecuted; reviled; mistreated

That’s not quite a list that we we would aspire too. Perhaps merciful, pure, and peacemakers. But yet we spend our lives trying to avoid the rest of these situations. Like the man who Mark ran into this week, we won’t acknowledge them. We don’t want to speak them into existence, even when they are already smacking us in the face. In the book Words from the HillStu Garrard points out that most of the beatitudes are not things to pursue but things that happen to you. Isn’t that true of most calamity in our lives? We don’t set out to be oppressed or to feel like we are put into danger. But it happens. And what challenged me this morning is the question, how do we respond in those moments? Do I work tirelessly in my own strength to ignore or rid myself of the problem? Or like David in Psalm 3, do I recognize this attack as an invitation to rest in the Lord? I pray that when I am met with the inevitable hardships of life that I see that it is in those moments that I am truly blessed for the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.