The Comfort of God
Who has not in their lifetime had those dark and trying periods when hope was almost gone? What congregation has not experienced anxiety as turmoil developed between brethren? Evidently, the church at Rome was dealing with all kinds of problems—there were false teachers seeking to Judaize the Gentiles by demanding that they must be circumcised to enter heaven. There was also strife between brothers where the stronger brothers had little compassion for those who were weaker.
How did God address such turmoil? When Paul gets to the fifteen chapter of Romans he utters this prayer. “May the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like minded toward one another…that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (15:5-6). How did Paul see that turmoil coming to an end? He turned to God—the One who gives both comfort and patient endurance.
This is where true comfort is found. Paul described God as the God of all comfort, and then said that He “…comforts us in all our troubles (2 Cor. 1:5-6). Pay special attention to that three letter word in this passage. God is not just the One who sometimes comforts us in certain situations—He is the God of all comfort in all our trials.
How does God give us comfort? Look again at Romans chapter fifteen. It is in verse five where God is described as the God of comfort and patience. Look at verse four. “For whatsoever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
To whom do we turn for comfort? It is to God. To where do we turn? It is the Scriptures the God of comfort has given us. You have experienced this in those dark times when you walked through deep valleys, like the valley of the shadow of death. Your soul found relief at such times, and you sang the song given by David. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me” (Psa. 23:3). You sang the psalm and the words from the God of all comfort lifted your soul.
It is not just in those Old Testament passages where comfort is found. When those in Thessalonica were concerned about those brethren who had died, the God of comfort gave His word to them and then added, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18).
So the next time clouds arise and darkness prevails, pick up your Bible. Read the comforting words from the God of all comfort. Meditate on what He says to you, and these words of comfort will bring hope in the midst of the deepest despair.