“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
Lots of things in life can make us uncomfortable: ill-fitting shoes, a worn-out mattress, an air conditioner on the fritz, one spicy enchilada too many, an unpredictable boss.
And what about when God Himself asks us to do things that are outside our comfort zones?
Like most things in life, comfort comes in unhealthy and healthy varieties. The pursuit of comfort becomes unhealthy when we embrace a self-absorbed lifestyle that continually seeks ease and avoids any and every risk.
It becomes unhealthy when troubles or sorrows come, and we try to numb our pain by escaping into amusement, pleasure, or addiction.
We quickly learn the best earthly comforts don’t satisfy fully and don’t last. That leather recliner with cup holders gets lumpy within two years (plus, the built-in massage function stops working). Your favorite sweatpants get holes in them.
That “to-die-for” macaroni and cheese makes you temporarily forget your troubles, but before long your favorite sweatpants don’t fit anymore!
Sometimes we seek comfort in relationships, but those aren’t permanent. Most of them aren’t even long-term. We can try to take comfort in our health, but that can change on a dime.
We can look for comfort in money, but we can’t take it with us when we die.
So what’s the healthy source of comfort? The apostle Paul urged us to turn to “the God of all comfort.” The word comfort is the same word Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit.
It literally means “to call alongside.” The picture is of one who is present in times of trouble to speak words of encouragement and consolation.
Here Paul reminds us that only God can provide true comfort that does not fade away. And buoyed by that divine comfort, we are able to do the uncomfortable thing of comforting others who hurt with the comfort we’ve received from God. What a great God! He comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others.
Let God comfort you today so you can be a conduit of His comfort in the lives of those around you.
Where do you tend to look for comfort when you need it?
Lord, You are my God who consoles me and speaks tenderly to me in times of trouble. Fill me with Your joy and peace, and give me eyes to see those who need Your comfort. Amen.