Comfort

📅 June 16, 2022

Beginning with the sermon I heard last Sunday and a number of conversations I have had this week, I became convinced this is a message I needed to share today. If you are wondering if this is “for you,” the answer is “yes.”

II Corinthians 1: 3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth in Christ.

Comfort: satisfaction of wants, relief from stress or anxiety, soothing. [Consolation]

Root: com—with. Fort—strength.

Stories of Comfort.

 Genesis 5:29. Noah’s birth. And [Lamech] called his name Noah, saying This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.

Genesis 24:67. Isaac’s marriage to Rebekah. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Genesis 50:21. Joseph’s promise to care for his brothers. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Ruth 2:13. Boaz’s acceptance of Ruth. Then she said, let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like one of thine handmaidens.

II Samuel 12: 24. David’s consoling Bathsheba. And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her; and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him.

God comforts us.

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalm 71: 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

Psalm 86:17 Shew me a token for good, that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Psalm 94: 19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Psalm 119: 50, 52. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Psalm 119: 76. Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

II Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down…

And who comforts like him? Go to some poor melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he listens not. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance and the mourner’s eyes glisten with hope. You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it. He is the God of all comfort. There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvelous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the goldbeater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So then, poor Christian you need not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter and ask Him to give you consolation. You are a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so Christian, when you are dry, go to God, ask him to shed abroad His joy in your heart, and then your joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job’s comforters after all; but go first and foremost to your God, who comforts those who are brought low, and you will soon say, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me, your comforts delight my soul. ~Spurgeon

Jesus comforted.  

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

They shall be comforted. Though perhaps they are not immediately comforted, yet plentiful provision is made for their comfort; light is sown for them, and in heaven it is certain they shall be comforted. The happiness of heaven consists in being perfectly and eternally comforted, and in the wiping away of all tears from their eyes. It is the joy of our Lord; a fulness of joy and pleasure forevermore; which will be doubly sweet to those who have been prepared for them by this godly sorrow. Heaven will be a heaven indeed to those who go mourning thither; it will be a harvest of joy, the return of a seedtime of tears (Psalm 125:5-6), a mountain of joy, to which our way lies through a vale of tears. ~Matthew Henry

Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that very hour.

Mark 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called, and they call the blind man, saying unto him, be of good comfort, rise: he calleth thee.

The Holy Spirit comforts.

John 14: 16, 18, 26. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. But

John 15: 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

John 16: 7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Acts 9: 31. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Believers comfort one another.

John 11: 19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.

Here was Martha’s house, a house where the fear of God was, and on which his blessing rested, yet made a house of mourning. Grace will keep sorrow from the heart, not from the house. Where there are mourners there ought to be comforters. It is a duty we owe to those that are in sorrow to mourn with them, and to comfort them; and our mourning with them will become comfort to them. When we are under the present impressions of grief we are apt to forget those things, which would minister comfort to us, and therefore have need of remembrancers. It is a merch to have remembrancers when we are in sorrow and our duty to be remembrancers to those who are in sorrow. The Jewish doctors laid great stress upon this, obliging their disciples to make conscience of comforting the mourners after the burial of the dead. They comforted them concerning their brother, that is by speaking to them of him, not only of the good name he left behind, but of the happy state he was gone to. When godly relations and friends are taken from us whatever occasion we have to be afflicted, concerning ourselves, who are left behind and miss them, we have reason to be comforted concerning those who are gone before us to a happiness where they have no need of us. This visit which the Jews made to Martha and Mary is an evidence that they were persons of distinction and made a figure; as also they had behaved obligingly to all; so that though they were followers of Christ, yet those who had no respect for Him were civil to them. There was also a providence in it, that so many Jews should come together to comfort the mourners that they might be unexceptionable witnesses of the miracle and see what miserable comforters they were, in comparison with Christ. Christ did not usually send for witnesses to his miracles, and yet had none been by but relations, this would have been excepted against; therefore, God’s counsel so ordered it that these should come together “accidentally” to bear their testimony to it, that infidelity might stop their mouth. ~Matthew Henry

Through the Scriptures.

Romans 15: 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

I Thessalonians 4:18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  • Through mutual faith.

Romans 1: 12. That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and of me.

I Thessalonians 7-8. Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

  • Through knowledge of the well-being of those we love.

Acts 16:40 [after Paul and Silas were released from prison] And they went out of the prison and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed.

Ephesians 6:21-22. But that he also may know m affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things, Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know our affairs, and he might comfort your hearts.

Philippians 2:19. But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

Colossians 4: 8. Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts.

  • Through being at peace with one another.

II Corinthians 13: 11. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. [See also below.]

Philippians 2: 1. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that he be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord of one mind.

Colossians 2: 2. That their hears might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.

Why does God lay trouble upon His people, and comfort them in it? That He may make them comforters of others. A man who has never had any trouble is very awkward when he tries to comfort troubled hearts. Hence, the minister of Christ, if he is to be of much use in God’s service, must have great trouble. You cannot pronounce the promise correctly in the ears of the afflicted unless you, yourself, have known its preciousness in your own hour of trial. Comforters are made to be made so—they are not born so—and they have to be made by passing through the furnace themselves. More than this, the intent of God is to make us able comforters people who know both the trial and the promise that is suited to meet it. Experimental knowledge helps a man to speak with power to the afflicted soul. He who has taken a certain medicine, and proved the benefit of it, is the man to recommend it to another. ~ Spurgeon

Isaiah 40:1-2 Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Isaiah 49:13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people and will have mercy on his afflicted.

Isaiah 51: 3, 12 For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her wasted places; and he will make her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 12) I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who are thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass. 

Isaiah 52:9. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

Isaiah 54:11. O, thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

Isaiah 61:2. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.

Isaiah 66: 13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.

 

Semi-Finalist - 2021 Royal Palm Literary Award Competition - Florida Writer's Association