When I get home from work, I’ve started a habit of lying down on the front couch in my house. It’s a small couch, more like a loveseat, but I love the way I can relax in that room and look through our front window to the yard outside. There is something about it that just makes me feel comfortable. Probably the fact that I’m relaxed, but it’s also the location that eases my soul. Where do you go when you want to get comfortable? I think most people have something in their lives that brings them a deep level of comfort.
We love comfort in this world. Soft beds, good shoes, the best pillow. We choose clothes that make us feel comfortable in our bodies. We choose a house that will give us the most creature comforts. Some of us even choose careers that will make us a comfortable living. Comfort is important in so many ways. Why is that? Because we don’t enjoy being uncomfortable. In uncomfortable lives pain, anxiety, and fear. As a result, we want to avoid getting out of these comfortable places in our lives. We choose to do things that will help us fit in with people around us. Hoard our money so we can live a comfortable life with all the amenities of this world. We allow our family to be dictated by what other people say is acceptable to avoid standing out. Comfort rules this world. Yet, something that always amazes me is how God works more often in our uncomfort than he does the comfortable.
Throughout biblical history, we see amazing narratives of men and women who were challenged and stretched in the hardest, most painful points of their lives. Moses ran from his past only to be brought back into the land of Egypt to save his people. Queen Esther had to face the fear of death by choosing to advocate for the Jews to her husband. Peter was redeemed after turning his back on Jesus. Paul was blinded to be able to see the light. Jesus faced a horrible beating and death to take the cross for our sins. You see, God regularly moves us out of our comfort zones into places that may be painful, but ultimately lead us to a place of healing and restoration.
In 2 Timothy, Paul wrote to his protégé about the power God has given us. A power to share the gospel with others and to go out and use the gifts we have to make a difference. Look at what he told Timothy.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” 2 Timothy 1:7-9
Paul wrote this at a time when he was not comfortable. He was in prison. He was suffering. Yet here he is encouraging Timothy not to be afraid of getting out of his comfort zone. He says, “suffer for the gospel”. Suffer for the good news. The good news that Jesus brings with him in this world. He came and made a way for each and every one of us to have a place in his kingdom. We are called to step out of our comfort zone and go out and tell people about the love of Jesus Christ.
Folks, I’m as guilty as anyone about wanting to live in my comfort zone. Believe me, if you stop by my house at 5 pm on a weeknight, there is a good chance you’ll find me lying on the couch. I’m not sure that is where God wants me to be every day. What about you? Where is God calling you to get up and step out in faith? Maybe it’s time we get up off the couch and start getting to work on sharing the gospel with everyone.
Ross Campus Pastor
White Oak Christian Church