The Comfort of God
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort (v.3).
Sometimes I wish life was like more like an episode of the television drama House. The show is about an egotistical but genius medical sleuth (Dr. Gregory House) who diagnoses and treats mysterious, life-threatening illnesses.
During one episode, the doctor and his cohorts eventually determined that a very ill patient had somehow contracted a rare but deadly disease from ingesting parasitic worms. The parasites simply hung out for a year, dormant in the patient’s intestines, until something woke them up and they began to hatch and attack the patient’s vital organs. Once properly diagnosed, the patient was cured by a round of antibiotics.
Again, I wish it were that simple when it comes to treating the “afflictions” of the soul. While medications can be legitimately helpful, there isn’t a pill we can pop that will cure what ails our hearts. Only in the new heaven and new earth does God promise to eliminate the pain of living in a broken world (revelation 21:3-5). In this life, however, He does promise His comfort.
The apostle Paul began his follow-up letter to the church in Corinth by telling them that God “comforts us in all of our troubles” (2 corinthians 1:4). From his own personal hardships (11:24-27), Paul valued the comfort that comes through God’s Spirit within us and through His people around us.
In the same letter, Paul explained how God used Titus’ arrival to comfort him during a time of great personal unrest (7:5-6). His friend’s mere presence lifted his spirits, but Paul found great encouragement in hearing that others cared about him as well (v.7).
God’s comfort renewed Paul’s spirit and kept him from losing heart. It will do the same for us!
Note what Paul wrote about the benefits of receiving God’s comfort (2 corinthians 1:4,6).
Consider putting God’s comfort on your Christmas “wish-list.” How will you share His comfort with someone this week?