Paul’s second letter to Corinth has some amazing words about how concerned God is about us and the comfort He gives in times of trial. “Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Look at the emphasis in this passage. He is the God of all comfort . . . in all of our tribulations to enable us to comfort those who are in any trouble.
It is remarkable how so many have failed to see the emphasis in this passage and the clarity with which it speaks. God comforts us and enables us to use that comfort He has given to us to comfort others. A vivid illustration of this is how the God of Paul comforted him and enabled him to comfort others. The church at Thessalonica was troubled and worrying that those who had died would miss seeing the return of Jesus. Paul told them exactly how the events would transpire and then added, “Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). These words from heaven brought comfort to those in the church who were troubled. They were words from the God of all comfort. These same words which comforted those troubled then were to be used to provide comfort to any others who were troubled. As Paul said, “Comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted.” Now, if the Bible supplies our every need (2 Tim. 3:16-17), there is never a life’s situation where it does not provide comfort that we can use to comfort others.
Someone then might ask, where then does the Holy Spirit fit into all of this? Does He not directly and in addition to the Bible comfort us? Is He not called the Comforter? Yes, Jesus did promise the apostles that He would send the Comforter to them. But He also described the kind of work this Comforter would do. He said the Comforter would: (1) teach the apostles all things; (2) bring to their remembrance everything Jesus had taught them; (3) testify concerning Jesus; (4) convict the world of sin; (5) guide the apostle into all truth (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:8-13).
He was not promised as one who would wrap His arms around them and sing a lullaby (like Soft Kitty) to a crying child. This is not the concept of the comfort He would bring. This concept of the comfort of the Holy Spirit comes from the mind of fallible man. God is the God of all comfort, but we must study carefully how He provides comfort to the world!