The God of All Comfort

Description

True comfort is an invasion of God’s grace, encouragement, and strength for us in the hard and challenging times of life.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles …" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

What do you think of when someone says "comfort"? Settling down into your favorite armchair? Sitting in the bath away from the kids for half an hour? Munching your way through a box of chocolates to cheer yourself up? Upgrading your car to something a little better? All of these are commonplace expressions of comfort. But all of them quickly pass; and none comes anywhere near what the Bible means by "comfort." For true comfort is nothing less than an invasion of God’s grace, encouragement, and strength for us in the hard and challenging times of life; not just to "give us a bit of relief" or to "keep us going," but to transform us and energize us so that we can come through victoriously on the other side.

The reason such comfort works and lasts is that it is nothing less than the comfort of God Himself. Through Isaiah God promised His weary people, "I, even I, am he who comforts you" (Isaiah 51:12). Jeremiah, who certainly went through his fair share of troubles, discovered that it was God Himself who was his comfort, even calling him "my Comforter in sorrow" (Jeremiah 8:18). And, of course, Jesus promised us that His Father would send His followers "another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17, KJV).

Of course, God also knows that we sometimes need encouragement "with skin on" – that is, in the shape of a friend. So He often sends someone or gets them to contact us at just the right moment. That was Paul’s experience when Titus turned up at just the right time, causing him to say, "But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus" (2 Corinthians 7:6). It was also David’s experience when Jonathan "helped him to find strength in God" (1 Samuel 23:16).

Whether directly or indirectly, God promises to be your comfort today in every situation you face. Believe it, and be ready to receive it – even from unexpected quarters!

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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