Have you ever asked, “Does God really care about what I’m going through?” Maybe you know the answer in your head, but your heart is still hurting.
This week, I believe I’m supposed to write about comfort and I’ll take a look at what The Bible tells us about God’s desire to comfort us in times of sorrow or suffering.
In Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven, he talks about what the present Heaven is like:
In Heaven, those who endured bad things on Earth are comforted for them (Luke 16:25 ). This comfort implies memory of what happened. If there was no memory of the bad things, what would be the need for or nature of such comfort?
- Luke 16:25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.” NLT
Here we have an example of being comforted in Heaven, but what about now? Must we wait to receive comfort? What else does The Bible tell us?
- Jeremiah 31:13 The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
This was God’s promise to Israel. And Isaiah speaks both in present terms and into the future:
- Isaiah 49:13 Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering. NLT
In the New Testament, Jesus gives us two promises and quotes Isaiah about His own ministry on Earth:
- Matthew 5:4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. NLT
- John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— AMP
- Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. NLT (also Luke 4:18)
David was not afraid to cry out:
- Psalm 94:18-19 I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. NLT
And he praised God even in the midst of his enemies:
- Psalm 68:19 Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. NLT
Paul goes deeper revealing the source of our comfort and giving purpose in sharing that comfort with others:
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. NLT
Do we look forward to suffering or brokenness? Definitely not! But we are assured of receiving God’s comfort and even the comfort of others as we pass through difficult times.
Are you in need of comfort? Don’t be afraid to cry out to God or reach out to a friend. You are not alone. Read this again: “God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”
I invite you to meditate on these scriptures through the week with me. Even if you are not struggling with this right now, God may want to use you to comfort someone in your life.
Note: Teddy Bears can be comforting, too!