By Pastor Dian Botha
The Father who comforts
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
God of all comfort – how beautiful is that! I have had some exceptional times of experiencing the Father’s love and comfort. In 1988, when I went to Taiwan as a missionary and our mission collapsed after just six months, we were stranded without money and without help. I remember going for a prayer walk amongst the rice paddies. God spoke to my heart and told me just how much He loved me and that He was my Father. I ran back to our little room and told my wife that we were NOT going back to South Africa because God is for us! That is exactly what a father does; he brings a sense of security to His children. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear. Fear left us and we stayed. Hallelujah!
In 2006, my first wife, Dawn, suddenly passed away on our 18th wedding anniversary due to heart failure. A church in South Africa had booked us for two nights in a resort in the mountains, and early that morning I woke up to the sound of her struggling to breathe. I did CPR on her for 45 minutes but to no avail, she passed away in front of my eyes. I was stunned and shocked and the children were devastated.
We had to go back to Singapore without our mother, friend and rock. Our daughter, Michelle, who was only eight at the time, was completely heartbroken, and found it difficult to adjust to life without her mother. She did not want to go to school and would cry the whole way when I took her there. After I dropped her one day, I began weeping helplessly and realised I had better park the car as I could not drive in that condition. So I stopped in a carpark and simply cried out, “Jesus, help me!”
God spoke to my heart and told me just how much He loved me and that He was my Father.
Suddenly, I felt the God of Comfort come into my car and physically hug me. I didn’t see Him, but I literally felt the embrace of a huge man and I lost track of time in His hug. When I came around, the deep pain in my heart had disappeared. I was still a single parent, but something within me had changed and that sharp pain of losing Dawn had vanished.
As Christians, we are not immune to suffering, but the difference is that we have Immanuel, God with us. What pain has pierced your heart? What ‘father wound’ are you nursing? Let Papa God’s embrace heal you.
The Father who values me
Romans 8:32 - "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also freely give us all things?"
Father God left no stone unturned to redeem and win us back. He gave that which was most precious to Him to rescue us. He gave His all to obtain us. This reveals how very special and precious we are to Him.
Matthew 13:44 records for us one of the parables of the Kingdom of God, and it tells us about a man who sold all that he had in order to buy a field which had hidden treasures.
Too often we think of the man who sold everything as a description of the believer who is required to sell all in order to gain Christ. However, when you really think about this parable, what does the field represent? In Matthew 13:38, we are told that the field is the world. I do not think for a moment that that we would ever have the ability to pay the price needed to purchase the world. There is only one Man who can do so, and who has done so, and that is Jesus Christ. He is the One who paid the price to purchase the world.
He is our Dad and knows what we need before we even need it. He arranged things for us even before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5).
What then was the treasure that Jesus paid for with His own life and His own blood? The answer is simple; it is you and I. Doesn’t this thought stagger you and cause you to marvel?
Imagine the worth that God has placed upon you and how much you are valued by Him. Why then are you still afraid, dear saint? You belong to Him.
Matthew 10:30 - "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
I had always thought that this was a strange scripture. It is tucked away amongst passages exhorting us to not fear and it seems quite random, but it is not. What is the point? Who knows how many hairs there are on your head? Nobody!
In fact, the question that begs to be answered is – who really cares? The whole point of this is to convey the idea that Father God is more intimately involved in our lives than any human being is. He has greater understanding and knows us better than anyone. That is why we should not fear. He is our Dad and knows what we need before we even need it. He arranged things for us even before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5).
When I was a child, we used to go on family holidays quite often. It took many hours for us to reach our destination. When we had any needs, we would just say, “Dad, we are hungry”, or “Dad, we need the toilet”, and our father would always meet those needs. We didn’t need to worry about a thing. Dear friend, you are in Father’s loving arms. Do not worry – you are in the grip of His Grace!
Overcoming Father Issues
Unfortunately for most of us, we have had earthly fathers who did not reflect the nature of the Heavenly Father. Worse, some of us have had fathers who left wounds in us and when we think about the Heavenly Father, His image is marred by that of our earthly fathers. This requires healing and restoration. It is essential that we come to a place of health and wholeness when it pertains to our knowledge and perception of our Heavenly Father.
This article is an extract from Pastor Dian’s latest book, In My Father’s Arms. It has been republished with the
author’s permission and is available at Faithworks Bookstore.