The God of 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 Cor. 1:4
How does God comfort His children? How does God comfort you? I imagine the answers to those questions are as varied as the life situations that bring the need for comforting! I experienced a very serious illness this past year and discovered that I consistently needed God’s comfort during the quiet of the night. I experienced few distractions to my physical and emotional suffering during those hours. It was just God and me—alone with my need for comfort. So, how did God ease my distress as I actively sought Him?
I prayed, “Jesus, please come to me and quiet my anxious mind. Calm my anxious spirit. Release my pain so I can experience sleep and rest.” I played Christian music, and when I was too weak to hold my Bible, I listened to my favorite passages audibly. 2 Corinthians 1 became one of my go-to passages. It’s where Paul assured me that God was able to comfort him even when he was completely overwhelmed—beyond his strength—so that he and his companions even despaired of life. Paul goes on to say they felt they had a death sentence within themselves. But look what Paul adds …so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us again while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many (2 Cor. 1:9-11). CSV
Ah, prayers of other believers are the ultimate source of God’s comfort when we suffer. During my illness, I requested prayers—and they came! Never try to go-it-alone. Paul didn’t, and we must not either. God is the God-of-all-comfort, and we must learn how to access it so that we might comfort others with what we’ve learned. There’s even one more result, though—then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.
God is glorified through the thanks offered to Him! What a beautiful dynamic of the Body of Christ, and we get to be a part of it when we suffer!
Father, thank You that You are the provider of comfort. Even Your care of Paul encourages and instructs us today to come to You for what we need. Thank You for your on-going care and provision for all our needs, including the need for comfort. Amen.