As hundreds of millions of us are shut in our homes, nervously monitoring the news for the latest updates on the coronavirus, we’re also dealing with an unexpected side effect of this pandemic:
Many of us are gaining weight as we turn to comfort foods to calm us.
This is perfectly understandable. We’re in a global crisis right now, with the news getting worse day by day in some countries. Who would blame us for reaching for cookies, ice cream, fried foods or nostalgic casseroles to console us, even if they can only do so temporarily?
But is there a more lasting source of comfort, preferably one that’s low in fat and calories?
Yes, there is…
Scripture tell us that our loving Heavenly Father is the One who can give us enduring comfort. He’s described as:
“…the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…” (2 Corinthians 1:3 NIV)
Over and over again, we see examples in the Bible of God comforting His children:
“…I, yes I, am the one who comforts you…” (Isaiah 51:12 NLT)
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Psalm 94:19 NLT)
“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” (Isaiah 49:13 NIV)
What form does this comfort take? Psalm 119:50 (NLT) gives us a clue:
“Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.”
The promises of God contained in the Bible can give us great consolation. Instead of reaching for pizza or sweets if you’re feeling distressed during this pandemic, try feasting on Biblical promises such as these instead:
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 NIV)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (Psalm 86:5 NIV)
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
There is another source of comfort that Jesus spoke about when He was about to leave this earth for His Heavenly home. He told his followers that He would pray that God would send them “another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16 KJV). Believers know that this Comforter is the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and is always ready to minister to us in times of distress.
But God’s mercy and compassion to His children doesn’t end with us. He also wants us to extend the same comfort we received to others who are suffering:
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)
Are you troubled and distressed during this pandemic? Turn to our compassionate God for comfort. He loves us and wants all of us to reach out to Him and benefit from not only His loving consolation here on earth but also His promise of eternal life through His Son Jesus.
And when God has comforted you, don’t forget to be a blessing to others who are going through trials as well. Give them encouragement, meet their needs as you’re able to, and tell them of your hope in God and His promises to believers.
In these troublous times, reach for spiritual comfort food. It will strengthen and nourish your soul, and you won’t gain any weight!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.