Comfort

1/. <<reassure, console>>

Being a Christian doesn’t exempt one from problems or calamity as shown by Job’s life (Job 1:11-19, 2:7).  All people require comfort at times in their lives. Paul spoke of “The God of all comfort” who strengthens and comforts us in our hardship and trials so we can identify with and comfort those who are

    Thank God for the Holy Spirit, who guides,                     empowers and gives us comfort

experiencing similar problems (2 Cor 1:3-5). Hear the confession of others, “He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold…Even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil, for you are with me, guarding and guiding me – this gives me immense comfort…My comfort in my suffering is your promises to me” (Job 23:10; Ps 23:4, 119:50).

Comfort, in the form of support, is something we should extend to others even if it restricts our personal comfort. In love Jesus sacrificed His personal comfort for us and became a man, experiencing life on earth (Heb 2:17,18, 4:15).  Paul prayed, “May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father…comfort your hearts and strengthen you in every good action and word” (2 Thes 2:16,17).

When comforting others be a good listener, spending time with them, offering help, support and encouragement but don’t judge, criticise or preach to them, rather thoughtfully make suggestions if appropriate. Jesus came to comfort the brokenhearted and we are to be there for hurting humanity too (Isa 61:1,2; Lk 4:18). Encouragement can be found in God’s Word, His presence and being with His people. Encourage others with the Word of God, especially in times of personal tragedy, loss and confusion (1 Thes 4:18, 5:11).

See also: compassion, empathy, encouragement, support.

2/. <<ease>>

Jesus told a parable about a fool who considered ease his goal and the tragedy that resulted (Lk 12:19,20). We are called to the higher mission of commitment to God, not personal comfort and ease in this life, yet God rewards those who sacrifice for His Kingdom (Mt 10:37-39; Mk 8:34, 10:29,30; Rom 15:1-3).  Living for Jesus will be costly and require dedicated commitment, but if we suffer for Christ we will also reign with Him (2 Tim 2:12). He is more concerned with our long-term character than passing comfort, promising to be with us through the hardships, not to spare us and give us a comfortable life (Mt 28:20; Rom 5:3-5; Heb 13:5; Jas 1:2-4). When doing God’s will by dying on the cross for us, Jesus was far from comfortable! Paul was also told he would suffer much for being a Christian (Act 9:15,16; 2 Tim 3:12).

It is good to pray that God will prosper folk but this blessing should not be at the expense of their spirituality (1 Tim 6:10; 3 Jn 1:2). Often we don’t receive what we ask for because we ask for the wrong reasons – it is for our own pleasure, at the expense of others, or it will be to the detriment of our spiritual walk. Our natural self wants ease and comfort; God desires mature servants who can minister in His name to hurting humanity.

See also: comfort zone, commitment, hurts, sacrifice, suffering.

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