LOOKING FOR COMFORT AND REDEMPTION

by Chip Jackson | Dec. 25, 2018

“…for my eyes have seen your salvation.”

LUKE 2:30 ESV

He spent a lifetime looking for it. As the decades rolled by, his eyes had seen much trouble, pain, and disappointment. Simeon had witnessed the collapse of civility and common decency within the halls of power. He had observed clashes between sharply divided political parties and special interest groups. He had seen a national spirituality that was irrelevant and ineffective, and economic inequality that exposed the increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet he kept looking for it, patiently waiting for consolation. And it came to him, and he held it in his arms. And for the first time in his life his eyes saw salvation. Salvation prepared in the sight of all nations, light to Gentiles, glory for Jews. And now this old man could be dismissed in peace.

She was a prophetess. She was widowed after seven years of marriage. She was from the tribe of Asher, and her father’s name was Penuel, which means “face of God.” Hers was a long, lonely, and hard life. And now in her twilight years, she spent most of her time at the Temple, worshipping, praying, and fasting. Anna, like Simeon, was waiting and looking for the same salvation. While Simeon’s lens was one of comfort, Anna’s was redemption. Perhaps it was her heart of worship, combined with her fervent prayer life and disciplined fasting, that allowed her to immediately recognize the “face of God” when she saw Jesus. Her response to seeing the Redeemer is immediate and dramatic. With deep gratitude and great joy, she points all who are looking for the redemption of Jerusalem to Jesus.

Simeon and Anna. Two old Jewish saints, devout and faithful, looking and waiting for God to do something comforting and redemptive. And God does both with Jesus.

This Christmas Day 2018 is my last Christmas before turning 60. While I don’t consider myself to be old… yet, I understand Simeon’s desire for consolation and comfort. Like Anna, I am compelled to worship deeply, linger in prayer regularly, and fast when led. As I reflect over the past year, I’ve seen God be so faithful to His promises to me. I remember the comfort of my Savior as I walked into to my father’s memorial service in Auburn, Alabama, and looked up to see Mickey Rapier standing there “representing my Fellowship Northwest Arkansas family.” Gratitude and peace followed.

This year, I’ve been reminded that life doesn’t always go according to plan. I read a book titled “Leadership Pain.” The author kept reinforcing the idea that my pain threshold as a leader is equated with my effectiveness as a leader. He has these pithy lines like “leadership is bleedership.” I didn’t like the book, nor some of the pain I faced this year as God raised my threshold.

But, like Anna, I know that nothing is wasted with God.

He has things all worked out for His glory and my good. The redemptive purposes of Jesus are always in effect when life is long, lonely, and hard.

What about you? Where are you looking for God to do something comforting and redemptive this Christmas? Take a moment and reread Luke 2:25-40 with the lens of comfort and redemption and then close with this prayer…

“Sovereign Lord,

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

I thank You for being my Light, my Savior, and my Glory.

You are my consolation in trouble, pain, and disappointment.

You are my redemption no matter how lonely or hard life may get.

I know You have it all worked out.

This Christmas Day I see you as my Comforter and Redeemer.

In Your name I pray!”

Today’s Reading: Luke 2:25-40 ESV

14 Comments

  1. Carl Kimbro

    Dead on Chip. God uses hardships and discomfort in ways we never thought possible. As you put it: “Nothing is wasted by God.”

    Reply
  2. Rusty Williams

    Good stuff Chip!
    I’m in the last pre-60 Christmas club myself ??

    Each instance of present labor is to be graciously repaid with a million ages of glory! – J.W. Alexander

    Reply
  3. Mariae

    Thankful today that this year every hardship was used to mold me. I know that in those fiery furnace days I didn’t walk alone, He was there with me every step of the way and “nothing has been wasted with God”
    Thank you Chip!

    Reply
  4. Steve graves

    Great word and trrrific writing Chipper.

    Steve Graves

    Reply
  5. Sue Dudley

    Thank you. Chip! That struck a cord in the core of my soul …
    I am so thankful for you! You mean so much to Jer and I and we have also “gained” from your pain over many years of growth. LOVE you deeply !!!

    Reply
  6. Darla Beller

    What God allows He also redeems. That’s what makes him so unique, so unlike other Gods. His power overcomes evil and difficulties in the most unimaginable ways. Serving him is a joy that cannot be matched. Knowing that He redeems all to his glory is also a great comfort. It allows me to settle into those trying times, to see past these evil days with a peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for sharing your insight from Simeon and Anna on this Christmas morning. It is a glorious morning!

    Reply
  7. Cindy

    Thank u Chip! I needed that reminder this Christmas 2018 that God has it all worked out. Especially when we don’t understand what He is working out for our good.
    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  8. Eva pearson

    Wonderful reminder of Gods love and our Fellowship family. May God bless us everyone.

    Reply
  9. Ed Riendeau

    So good Chip! Thanks for sharing your heart and yes, so thankful for the comfort and redemption of our Savior. He sustains us and provides us with the most amazing peace in the midst of pain – a peace that only He can give. I am so grateful and thankful!

    Reply
  10. Karon Parrish

    Thank you so much for sharing this devotional! This is the day we remember as the life that restores all hope!

    Reply
  11. Colene Zaiser

    Let us keep looking . And in these similar times we live in let us affirm to the world that the Hope of all ages has come and is coming again. We love you Chip. You are always in our prayers. Merry Christmas. Colene and Gordie

    Reply
  12. Ray and Emily Tong

    Merry Christmas Felllwship family!
    Thank you for these Advent devotionals in a hectic season filled with many distractions. Chip, wonderful words of encouragement and comfort.

    Reply
  13. Clif Ruddick

    Thank you for reminding us of Anna & Simeon; their response to the infant Redeemer is very inspiring. We should share their true passion for Jesus!

    Reply
  14. Yami

    Thanks Chip, I love the stories of Simeón and Ana. I love the focus they had. I also want to stay focused and going deeper into knowing even in the harder times. Thank you and Merry Christmas

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Comfort & Redemption

BY: Chip Jackson | Dec. 25, 2018

“…for my eyes have seen your salvation.”

LUKE 2:30 ESV

He spent a lifetime looking for it. As the decades rolled by, his eyes had seen much trouble, pain, and disappointment. Simeon had witnessed the collapse of civility and common decency within the halls of power. He had observed clashes between sharply divided political parties and special interest groups. He had seen a national spirituality that was irrelevant and ineffective, and economic inequality that exposed the increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet he kept looking for it, patiently waiting for consolation. And it came to him, and he held it in his arms. And for the first time in his life his eyes saw salvation. Salvation prepared in the sight of all nations, light to Gentiles, glory for Jews. And now this old man could be dismissed in peace.

She was a prophetess. She was widowed after seven years of marriage. She was from the tribe of Asher, and her father’s name was Penuel, which means “face of God.” Hers was a long, lonely, and hard life. And now in her twilight years, she spent most of her time at the Temple, worshipping, praying, and fasting. Anna, like Simeon, was waiting and looking for the same salvation. While Simeon’s lens was one of comfort, Anna’s was redemption. Perhaps it was her heart of worship, combined with her fervent prayer life and disciplined fasting, that allowed her to immediately recognize the “face of God” when she saw Jesus. Her response to seeing the Redeemer is immediate and dramatic. With deep gratitude and great joy, she points all who are looking for the redemption of Jerusalem to Jesus.

Simeon and Anna. Two old Jewish saints, devout and faithful, looking and waiting for God to do something comforting and redemptive. And God does both with Jesus.

This Christmas Day 2018 is my last Christmas before turning 60. While I don’t consider myself to be old… yet, I understand Simeon’s desire for consolation and comfort. Like Anna, I am compelled to worship deeply, linger in prayer regularly, and fast when led. As I reflect over the past year, I’ve seen God be so faithful to His promises to me. I remember the comfort of my Savior as I walked into to my father’s memorial service in Auburn, Alabama, and looked up to see Mickey Rapier standing there “representing my Fellowship Northwest Arkansas family.” Gratitude and peace followed.

This year, I’ve been reminded that life doesn’t always go according to plan. I read a book titled “Leadership Pain.” The author kept reinforcing the idea that my pain threshold as a leader is equated with my effectiveness as a leader. He has these pithy lines like “leadership is bleedership.” I didn’t like the book, nor some of the pain I faced this year as God raised my threshold. But, like Anna, I know that nothing is wasted with God. He has things all worked out for His glory and my good. The redemptive purposes of Jesus are always in effect when life is long, lonely, and hard.

What about you? Where are you looking for God to do something comforting and redemptive this Christmas? Take a moment and reread Luke 2:25-40 with the lens of comfort and redemption and then close with this prayer…

“Sovereign Lord,

You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

I thank You for being my Light, my Savior, and my Glory.

You are my consolation in trouble, pain, and disappointment.

You are my redemption no matter how lonely or hard life may get.

I know You have it all worked out.

This Christmas Day I see you as my Comforter and Redeemer.

In Your name I pray!”

Today’s Reading: Luke 2:25-40 ESV

14 Comments

  1. Carl Kimbro

    Dead on Chip. God uses hardships and discomfort in ways we never thought possible. As you put it: “Nothing is wasted by God.”

    Reply
  2. Rusty Williams

    Good stuff Chip!
    I’m in the last pre-60 Christmas club myself ??

    Each instance of present labor is to be graciously repaid with a million ages of glory! – J.W. Alexander

    Reply
  3. Mariae

    Thankful today that this year every hardship was used to mold me. I know that in those fiery furnace days I didn’t walk alone, He was there with me every step of the way and “nothing has been wasted with God”
    Thank you Chip!

    Reply
  4. Steve graves

    Great word and trrrific writing Chipper.

    Steve Graves

    Reply
  5. Sue Dudley

    Thank you. Chip! That struck a cord in the core of my soul …
    I am so thankful for you! You mean so much to Jer and I and we have also “gained” from your pain over many years of growth. LOVE you deeply !!!

    Reply
  6. Darla Beller

    What God allows He also redeems. That’s what makes him so unique, so unlike other Gods. His power overcomes evil and difficulties in the most unimaginable ways. Serving him is a joy that cannot be matched. Knowing that He redeems all to his glory is also a great comfort. It allows me to settle into those trying times, to see past these evil days with a peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for sharing your insight from Simeon and Anna on this Christmas morning. It is a glorious morning!

    Reply
  7. Cindy

    Thank u Chip! I needed that reminder this Christmas 2018 that God has it all worked out. Especially when we don’t understand what He is working out for our good.
    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  8. Eva pearson

    Wonderful reminder of Gods love and our Fellowship family. May God bless us everyone.

    Reply
  9. Ed Riendeau

    So good Chip! Thanks for sharing your heart and yes, so thankful for the comfort and redemption of our Savior. He sustains us and provides us with the most amazing peace in the midst of pain – a peace that only He can give. I am so grateful and thankful!

    Reply
  10. Karon Parrish

    Thank you so much for sharing this devotional! This is the day we remember as the life that restores all hope!

    Reply
  11. Colene Zaiser

    Let us keep looking . And in these similar times we live in let us affirm to the world that the Hope of all ages has come and is coming again. We love you Chip. You are always in our prayers. Merry Christmas. Colene and Gordie

    Reply
  12. Ray and Emily Tong

    Merry Christmas Felllwship family!
    Thank you for these Advent devotionals in a hectic season filled with many distractions. Chip, wonderful words of encouragement and comfort.

    Reply
  13. Clif Ruddick

    Thank you for reminding us of Anna & Simeon; their response to the infant Redeemer is very inspiring. We should share their true passion for Jesus!

    Reply
  14. Yami

    Thanks Chip, I love the stories of Simeón and Ana. I love the focus they had. I also want to stay focused and going deeper into knowing even in the harder times. Thank you and Merry Christmas

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas