Look up comfort in a dictionary and you’ll find a definition like “something that promotes a state of ease or provides freedom from pain and anxiety.” Is comfort something we try to obtain through materialistic means – anything from new clothes, to drugs, drinking, sex, luxurious homes, cars, etc.? Today’s culture would lead us to believe this is true.
Note this excerpt from a recent devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley:
“According to God’s Word, when consolation or comforting is needed, the only true solution is the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Greek, He is called paraklētos, which means ‘he who stands at one’s side; he who comes to one’s aid.’ Believers don’t have to rely on outward remedies or distractions to ease their mind, because help is available from the ultimate Comforter. Even before the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell believers. (John 14:26),(Ephesians 3:16) Scripture identified God as the one who comforts His people. (Isaiah 40:1)(Isaiah 49:13). The Lord personally provides consolation and reassurance because no one knows our hurts the way He does.”
“I like this anonymous quotation: ‘When we have gone into the furnace of affliction, His hand is on the thermostat and His eye is on the clock.” God allows hardship, and as a result, we become stronger believers, wiser servants, and more humble people. But He stays by our side through the entire experience, sustaining us and limiting the intensity and duration of our distress. The Spirit’s reassuring whisper to our heart gives more comfort than the solace of family or the encouragement of friends.”
In the life of David in the Old Testament, we find numerous times that he sought out the Lord for comfort, reassurance, and instruction. A few of those instances were: when fighting with Goliath (I Samuel 17) and running from Saul (I Samuel 19-22). He wrote the Psalm below describing how our Lord provided comfort and reassurance.
Ps. 16:8-11 I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Notice in this Psalm the steps he took:
- Kept his focus on the Lord – “set the Lord continually before me”
- Demonstrated faith, peace, and security in the Lord – “I will not be shaken”
- Recognized his joy was from the Lord – “my heart is glad”
- Knew he would never be left alone – “You will not abandon”
- Recognized where his joy and pleasures came from – “in Your presence . . . In Your right hand”
Sometimes on this side of heaven, we may not know the purpose for trials and tribulations, but we can be sure that our God is Sovereign, and will provide true comfort, peace, hope, and reassurance through His Holy Spirit. Lean on Him, let go, and let God.
About the Writer:
Beverly is former educator, administrator, and Sunday school teacher, who is a wife, mother, and grandmother with a passion for sharing God’s love.