It has been quite a long time since I’ve posted anything new in my “Wonderful” series on the Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, so I think it is time to share another one.
The Consolation of Israel
There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. —Luke 2:25
For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. —1 Thessalonians 1:5
Simeon was just and devout and waited for the “Consolation of Israel.” “Consolation” means “paraclete” (One coming alongside) as we think and speak of the Holy Spirit who comes to abide in and lead us out in our daily life. Simeon was waiting for the deliverance of the Jews by the coming of the Messiah. They did not as a nation receive Him, but some did and were consoled, and Israel shall yet have the promised consolation, as Paul was comforted by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Lord, may we also rely upon the abiding comfort of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit all the day. Amen.
[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul. —Psalm 94:18-19
Years ago people with whom I worked gave me the nickname Smiley. Someone even found a smiley face poster and placed it in my workspace. I guess I’ve always been an optimist no matter how bad things are. But some have not believed this to be a good
thing, rather that I should be more of a realist.
I say there is plenty of reality surrounding me every day that I don’t like at all. There have been times I’ve been so anxious about my situation, I’ve lost sight of the most important thing of all: my relationship with God. Whenever I concentrate too much on the reality of things, I focus more on myself and my circumstances and I lose sight of the Lord.
In Psalm 94:18-19, we are assured that our Lord is ever waiting to console our anxiety and to support us in our times of greatest need. I’ve personally found that every time I turn from my pain and frustration to the face of the One who loves me and cares for me so much, my viewpoint completely changes. Instead of the harsh reality of my illnesses, I feel surrounded by a love too great to measure.
It is as if God’s arms are holding me close in a calm, soothing embrace.
I’d much rather be known as Smiley than Grouchy any day. Who knows? My outward smile may reach inside someone else’s hurt and help them see that they are not alone in their pain, that there is One who is ready to console them right there and then.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, some days are more difficult to get through than others. Just when I’m feeling a little better, I’ll have a day that brings me to my knees. But maybe that’s exactly what you want from me, and if so, then by Your grace I will smile as I look to You for my consolation. Amen.
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