We are all in need of comfort, from time to time. In the past week, I’ve talked with people who’ve lost a pet, lost a loved one, lost a job. The cancer returned, the car broke down, and financial difficulties are adding up. Where can you turn? Who understands? What shoulder can you lean on?
God is the God of endurance and encouragement. He Himself knew about suffering, as Jesus, both God and man, who suffered and died for our sins. In resurrection He overcame death and gives us new life, and His presence through the Spirit, who is the Helper, Counselor, and Comforter. He destroys despair, and He promised to be with His people always, and come back for them to bring them to His side. Christ is our solid rock and hope and stay, our comfort in all the deserts and valleys we walk through in this world.
Not only does God comfort us in His presence, He also gives us the church. Paul reflected on his many sufferings in 2 Corinthians 1, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 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.” God gives us Himself and the gift of church, brothers and sisters in Christ, who can comfort us with the same comfort we receive from God.
We lean on one another in hardest times. The church is to embody the old Bill Withers’ song, ”Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on…For it won’t be long, till I’m gonna need somebody, to lean on.” David Brainerd challenged his church when he preached, “The lazy Christian has his mouth full of complaints, the active Christian has his heart full of comforts.” Be comforted today, through the Lord and His church, and be a comfort to someone in need.