Comfort and Affliction

There’s a saying in journalism that newspapers should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Today’s reading (Matthew 17) has that potential.

For the afflicted, for those who are feeling beat down, a verse to memorize is 7, But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” What a cool image. We should memorize that one, and the next time you feel like life has you face down in agony or fear, say it out loud, “But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.'”

For the comfortable, I know Jesus’ words in verse 20 cut through me. The disciples ask why they aren’t able to do the task God has given them to do, and Jesus tells them, “Because you have so little faith.” That bites. The thought of my lack of faith limiting what God can do through my life? Yuck. Maybe we need to make this a regular prayer, “God, increase my faith. God, grow my faith. God, embolden my faith. God, strengthen my faith. God, enlarge my faith.”