Never confuse comfort with being comfortable. The comfort that comes from God is deeper than the “creature comforts” that we possess. Maybe some of you today are in situations beyond your human ability to bear. It may be physical, financial, marital, or mental. Many individuals that Jesus ministered to on earth were immediately relieved when the Master said, “Be of good comfort” (also translated as “cheer”). Perhaps the thought is running through your mind saying, “Well, if Jesus were to say that to me personally, I’d be relieved too!” Well, beloved, Jesus has spoken to those who are cast down; in fact, these are the very ones that He comforts!
To comfort means to draw near, console, or exhort. It is the very nature of God to comfort us, and His comforting us enables us to be used by Him to comfort others. The very name given to God the Holy Spirit in John’s gospel is the Comforter (Helper in some translations). We have a promise in Matthew 5:4 that when we truly mourn, we shall be comforted. The Holy Spirit gives comfort; the Word of God gives comfort; fellow saints should be giving comfort. There certainly is no shortage of comfort!
In Psalm 77, Asaph records an experience where he did all of the right things, but his soul refused to be comforted; that is, until he began to think about God’s faithfulness. If your soul refuses to be comforted, think about God’s faithfulness in the past. I pray that today He would show you a token for good that would cause you to say, “Lord, You have comforted me.”
Lazarus had a “bitter pill” of providence to swallow, while his rich contemporary was comfortable. But who is comforted now? David wrote, “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” There are times when God withholds comfort and pity that He may minister to you correction and guidance.
Beloved, Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless” (also translated, “orphans”). He meant it then, and He means it now.