On Comfort and Conviction

“…the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” {1 Samuel 2:3b}

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” {1 Samuel 16:7}

I find both comfort and conviction in these verses.

Comfort. “A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. The easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress.” {Google Definition}

I am currently in a season where it is comforting to know that the LORD sees the heart of man. That HE is a God of knowledge that weighs all actions, that knows all motivations, that looks straight in on the heart. This is reassuring to me as I wait patiently on the LORD to answer questions that I have. I find peace in knowing that the “Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” And here it is AGAIN: “He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

These two verses close with a third verse. In it is a very certain promise: “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who were called according to his purpose.” {Romans 8:26-28, emphasis mine}

There is comfort in the uncertainty and comfort in the waiting. Comfort is there for me if I look for it and if I ask for it. I am crying out for comfort right now. I want to be comforted by the knowledge that HE knows and that HE sees and that HE helps. He is in CONTROL. Here’s the context of the very first verse that I posted at the beginning:

“My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. Talk no more very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and exalts. He raises the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s and on them he has set the world.” {1 Samuel 2:1-8}

Lest I fear, let me be reminded that the earth and everything in it is the LORD’s. {Psalm 24:1}

Lest I doubt, let me be reminded that it is God who sets up and tears down. {Job 12}

Lest I worry, let me be still and know that He is God. {Psalm 46:10}

There is comfort in the midst of fear, doubt and worry.

Here’s the second piece. Conviction. Knowing that the LORD is a God of knowledge that searches hearts brings conviction.

Conviction. “The work of the Holy Spirit that brings godly sorrow over sin.” {my definition based on sermons and Scripture}

This brings me to my knees asking God to “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” {Psalm 139:23-24} If you know me, you know I use WAY too many exclamation points in my posts, emails and messages! I’m aware of it! I really am! And I’m working on it. See? But in all seriousness, when you find three sentences IN A ROW in the Bible with exclamation points, it’s time to pause and ponder. These verses were written with both passion and desperation. To be searched. To be tested. To be tried. To be led away from any and every grievous way of thinking. Search me! Know me! Try me! Know my thoughts! See if there is any grievous way in me! And lead me away from it and after you!

In seasons of pain. In seasons of confusion. In seasons of difficulty. I NEED Him to test and try me. I am convicted to not grow bitter {Hebrews 12:15}. To not lose heart {2 Corinthians 4:16}. To not assign motives to others without first checking my own {Matthew 7:1-5}. To not speak on things of which I have no knowledge {Job 38:1-2}. To not gossip or slander or speak foolishly {Proverbs 10:18}. To be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger {James 1:19}. To weigh my words {Ecclesiastes 5:2}. To test the spirits {1 John 4:1}. To not throw stones {John 8:7}. To rejoice with those that rejoice and to weep with those that weep {Romans 12:15}. It is from this place of both comfort and conviction that I can continue to seek wisdom, discernment, and answers to hard questions asked in love with pure motives.

I am convicted to keep on praying. Lord, let me pray more than I talk! Lord, hear my prayer that we might be ONE striving side by side for the gospel!

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” {Philippians 1:27, emphasis mine}

I am convicted to TAKE HEART because He loves us, because He promises peace in tribulation. And because He has overcome the world. {John 16:33}

 

 

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7 Replies to “On Comfort and Conviction”

  1. So glad you are writing when the Spirit leads you – your words bring Glory to God and encourage and convict me. Thank you my precious daughter!!

    1. Hey Emily! We are going through a difficult season of accusations and transition. Going through the process of trying to ascertain what is true and what is partially true and what is false. Our attendance and giving is down and we are closing churches. It’s been very painful and difficult. Jason and I feel called to stay and continue to be on mission at the church that we love so much. Our experience continues to be with a church and body that demonstrates a culture of love and grace. Your prayers are appreciated!

      1. Thank you for explaining. Wow. That does sound very difficult, and I’m sorry for all the pain you’re feeling. You have my prayers! I know the Holy Ghost will guide you as you seek out truth.

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