What does “comfort” mean to you? Maybe it’s coffee and a blanket while the sun rises. Maybe it’s your loud, laughing group of friends at a restaurant. Maybe it’s reading your kids a bedtime story in a dimly lit bedroom. Comfort can mean any number of things to us, depending on our personalities and what lifts our hearts.
But what about when life is anything but comfortable?
Truth be told, those moments of joy are fleeting. Gaping cracks between them fill with worry, stress, and at times, intense pain and confusion. Surviving from happy moment to happy moment is no way to live.
How blessed we are, then, that God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” He understands this world and the powers in it more intimately than anyone: he made them. He is stronger than any force or emotion that overcomes us: he orchestrates them. He is more experienced than any wise counselor or mentor: he’s existed forever. He comforts and renews in a remarkably personal way, through close relationship, conversation, and time spent reading his Word.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
This comfort is amazingly powerful and peaceful, but for Christians it can't be the ultimate thing
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, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, emphasis added
Comfort isn’t to be hoarded to make our lives exceedingly padded and easy. Comfort isn’t designed to pool up in our relaxed, lazy bodies, but to flow through us: at first bringing revival to our weary hearts, then flowing at once outwards, into the weary hearts of others.
Have you ever met someone who’s gone through the same pain as you? I’m not talking about the common threads of stress and worry that run through every human. I’m talking about deep, specific pains. These are some of mine: the death of a brother, a seemingly unconquerable sin, and a longstanding questioning of my value and identity.
I wonder what yours are. I wonder if you’ve ever met someone with the same past or present as you. If you have, you’ve probably experienced the thrill and outpouring of testimony and mutual comfort. The instant heart-level bonding and sharing of experiences. God leads us through deep waters that we might lead others out of the same ones.
In another sense, these deep waters weather us to handle situations we ourselves haven’t been in. God’s comfort is so great and universal that it applies to everyone in every situation. We who have been comforted by God are equipped to comfort anyone: if not with eloquent words and wise advice, with simple truths from his word and the assurance of his character and presence.
This mission of being a comforter can be overwhelming, I understand. Stepping into others’ pain isn’t a leisurely activity. But we’re called into it, and thoroughly equipped for it. Because we’re invited into daily time with the God of comfort, we don’t have to worry about manufacturing it on our own to give to others. Because we’re in relationship with him, we don’t have to worry about running low on his gifts. Because the Bible is packed full of his promises to us, we don’t have to wring our hands about what’s to come. Our foundation is found in our immovable God.
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:50
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20
He is a comforter, deliverer, and promise keeper. We are grateful receivers, the delivered, stewards of comfort and truth, and worshippers. We have been comforted, and therefore we set out into our lives with the intent of being comforters.
Yes and amen!
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Look forward to new posts every Monday morning!