University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Comfort and Gods Glory
In the decision to discuss two topics included within this reflection paper I have been led to discuss two doctrines that are close to all Christians. The comfort of God and the glory of God are the two doctrines that I have focused on over the last several weeks. The comfort of God has touched me at times over the course of my life however, never as much as it has over the last year. I wish to praise the glory of God as directed within the bible to show how God has worked in my life.
The Comfort of God Theological Definition The comfort of God can be best represent and defined by 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 which states: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too”. (NIV) However, Webster’s dictionary defines comfort as “to give strength and hope to” and “to ease the grief or trouble of” (Webster’s, 2013)
Biblical Foundation The Bible provides many references to God’s comfort as stated in Psalms 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower”. (NIV) Even though the word comfort isn’t contained in the passage just knowing that God is your strength and rock is enough. Psalms 138:7 states “though I walk in the middle of trouble, you will revive me: you shall stretch forth your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand shall save me”. (NIV)
Practical Application Over the course of my career as a law enforcement officer, I have found myself seeking comfort in some way or another. I have involved myself with discussions with fellow officers and have sought guidance from counselors and other professional sources. However, I have found no sense of comfort that compares to the bible and the comfort that religion brings me. I have learned over the course of my career that God is in control. He has a plan for all of us and comforts us when we stray from that path. When I speak of Gods comfort I think of a video that I watched on YouTube recently. The video was a speech given by Admiral Lee of the United State Coast Guard. Admiral Lee talks about the red tape that prevents him and all military personal from comforting soldiers on the battlefield.
He states that he is unable at times to give guidance to those struggling for hope. I’m not a type of person who wants to force my faith and beliefs on a person. But much like Admiral Lee I have had the opportunity to be there when someone is reaching out. To give them comfort with Gods preachings and to give them a bible so they can find hope and comfort within its pages. I have for years during my tenure as a police officer carried a bible in my police vehicle. I also carry small pocket bibles purchased at my own expense. I throughout the years have never had anyone refuse one of my bibles. However, I have arrested people who have already got one of them.
The Glory of God Theological Definition The glory of God is the beauty of his spirit. It is not his physical beauty however; it is his beauty that emanates from his character. God’s glory is His splendor, his majesty. The glory of God is his character and his divine nature; it is the very essence of his presence. Biblical Foundation
The glory of God is referenced early in the bible Exodus 24: 15-17 states “Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mt. Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel”. (NIV) The glory of god is used figuratively for God himself. Moses said to God himself in Exodus 33: 18-22 “Please show me your glory. Then he said, I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you . . . You cannot see my face; for no man shall see me and live. And the Lord said, here is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock. So shall it be, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by”. (NIV) Practical Application
How do we practically apply Gods glory to our everyday life? God calls us to glorify him in all we do. I do not proclaim to live a life without sin, as most Christians would agree. I don’t just do kind things to others with hopes of cancelling out the sins that I have done. However, I try to reach out into the community in the way in which I believe God wants me to. My career is a hard one and it takes a hard person to be a police officer. I have been accused of many things by people whom are upset and don’t understand. It’s easy to stand on the side of the road and observe a group of police officer at a tragic vehicle accident and get the wrong impression. I have seen officers who begin to joke around and are smiling. Now I agree the place and time for a joke is not at a car accident where someone has lost his or her life.
However, it is a coping method that a lot of officers use to deal with a high stress situations. Are they living up to the glory of God? Probably not, however, they are performing their jobs to the best of their ability. The bible tells us we are not to commit murder, so how do I explain to my children that I had to take a life in the performance of my duties? How do I express to them that I am here to glorify God when I have broken one of the commandments? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that I try to live my life in a manner that allows me to glorify Him. I don’t believe that just worshiping God in church and singing hymns is enough. I believe that we need to try to preach to those who haven’t heard the Gospel and we need to live our lives praising him and living in his example. Conclusion
I have progressed in my Christian studies and have focused on the things that I can do to both glorify God and to provide the comfort of God to others. You never know when the moments will be presented to you to affect the life of another, but I’m prepared. I can tell story after story to describe how I have attempted to accomplish these things, but I don’t want to place emphasis on them. God knows the good things I have done in my career and he knows the bad things. I will continue to study his word and build my house in heaven as to speak. Good deeds will not secure your place in heaven. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. I have allowed Christ to fill my heart and I can build my home in heaven by the good deeds to which I do here. I can learn by Admiral Lee’s advice and example. I don’t have to stand and shout to someone in need. I only need to hand them the tool they need to find hope and Gods glory. I only need to whisper to them “read this”.