1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”
We all need comfort. In the world in which we live, we experience pain, sorrow, loss, difficulties, and discouragements as we continue on life’s path. For many, these circumstances result in depression, mental breakdowns and even suicides. Whether we have experienced God’s grace, or have never come to a saving knowledge of the Lord, we face distresses that plead for comfort and aid.
Where can we turn for that comfort? To whom can we flee for counsel, safety and peace in a world filled with violence and troubles? Our Lord, through His precious Word reveals the true Comforter to whom we can always rely upon.
(KJV) 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.
(ESV) (17) Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
(KJV) 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 upon his afflicted.
(ESV) (13) Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.
(KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
(ESV) (16) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17) even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18) “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
(KJV) 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.
(ESV) (31) So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
(KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) 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. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
(ESV) (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5) For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
The Biblical definition of a comforter is muti-faceted:
1. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word translated “comfort” carries with it several ideas.
a. breathing a sigh of relief;
b. to pity and then console;
c. and finally, to put at ease or to relieve.
2. In the New Testament the Greek word translated “comforter” also has several ideas behind it.
a. to be called near (a warrior being called to stand and fight alongside);
b. to be advocate or defense attorney;
c. to encourage or to urge forward.
We can see from these various definitions the idea of comforting in the Bible involves many different areas of helping others who are facing distresses.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the role of a comforter, let’s see who the Bible says we should look to in times of distress and turmoil in our lives.
In our first text, Psa 86:17, we find the identity of the divine Comforter clearly identified….
“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.”
Here we find, in the life of the Psalmist, that Jehovah God was the source of his comfort during times of opposition and mistreatment at the hands of his enemies. In the context, David was facing enemies who were seeking to kill him (vs 14). This Psalm was a tribute to the Lord, whom David was praising for His protection, love and comfort during these times.
In Isa 49:13 we read that the comfort that Jehovah gives is centered upon His mercy that is shown to His people….
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 upon his afflicted.
Those who look to the Lord by faith, acknowledging their sin and His role as Master of their life, are the ones who are the recipients of the Lord’s comforting hand.
His mercy, alone, is an act that brings comfort to the sin-burdened soul. Just knowing that the Lord has forgiven us of our sins and has made us citizens of His eternal kingdom is a source of the greatest possible comfort that we can possess. (Psa 85:10) Any trial we may face in this world becomes dim and insignificant if life lived with the Lord is our certain eternal destination.
The touch of the comforting hand of Jehovah is not limited to the Old Testament saints, but is also a part of the lives of New Testament believers as well. This is seen in 2 Cor 1:3-5…
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) 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. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Please notice that, just as Old Testament saints, we who are New Testament believers are the recipients of the comforting hand of Jehovah God. In these verses, we are told one of the great purposes that our God gives us comfort is so that we might show comfort to others in times of distress and sorrow. Bringing comfort to those who are suffering is one of the best ways we can leave a lasting impression of God’s grace in the lives of others.
But also it is interesting to note that the comfort that God the Father gives to us “aboundeth” by Christ. In other words, it is the work of Christ, and His intervention in our lives, through which the comforts of God flow. Not only is God our Comforter, but in a very real sense Christ, Jehovah God in the flesh, is the source of our comfort as well.
(Just as a side note, not only does comfort flow to us from the Father through the work of Christ, but all of God’s graces are given to us through Christ. See Eph 2:7)
Not only is Christ and His work an essential aspect of our comforting, but we are told in Acts 9:31 that we are comforted by the Holy Spirit….
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.
How can it be that the Holy Ghost is said to be the Comforter for the church when we were told previously that the ministry of comforting is granted by Jehovah God through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ?
We have this explained for us in John 14:16-18…
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Christ is promising that, following His ascension, we would receive another Comforter that would be ever-present with God’s people. Comforting is one of the great post-ascension ministries of the Holy Ghost. If we look closely, we see that when Christ promises us a continuation of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He describes it as Christ Himself coming to be with us (vs 18). Keep in mind, Christ, as the second person of the Godhead is Jehovah God. The indwelling Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, is Jehovah God as well. (John 4:24, Rom 8:9, 1 Cor 3:16).
The three persons of the Godhead are the very same God (1 John 5:7), therefore, it is without contradiction that all three persons can be identified as the Comforter.
In a sinful, fallen world that is filled with sorrow, loss and distress, what a privilege it is to have the ultimate source of comfort being identified within the pages of the Word. Not only is our Comforter’s identity clearly shown, but also the path that leads to a personal relationship with Him.
The message of salvation is the key to a living relationship with the Lord Jesus and access to the many wonderful blessings that He has promised for His people. One of those blessings is the comforting hand of Jehovah God that rests upon those who have submitted themselves to Him.
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx