Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The Webster's New World Dictionary defines "to comfort" as "to soothe in distress; to relieve stress; to console; to put at ease; to encourage; etc."  The New Testament use of the phrase is pretty much the same, but like all verses in the Bible, they need to be taken in context.  For instance, Jesus comforted those needing healing, by performing the miracle they sought (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 10:46-52; etc.).  In the case of the man born blind, Jesus went far beyond just healing his physical ailment; He opened both his eyes and his heart; He revealed Himself to him and he was saved (Jn. 9:1-41)!  And Jesus comforted Martha and Mary by raising their brother from the dead (Jn. 11:1-45)!

The Apostle Paul wrote that believers receive comfort from reading and believing the Scriptures.  He wrote, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).  When teaching concerning the spiritual gift of prophecy, he wrote, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3).  The Word of God is the believer's greatest source of comfort in this lost and dying world!

For those of us who love our family and friends, we are comforted when we hear of their well-being.  On several occasions, men came to assist, and thereby comfort Paul, and he sent his co-laborers to comfort others who were worried about him, and to find out how those he loved were doing (2 Cor. 2:7; 7:2-4, 13; Eph. 6:6; Phil. 2:19; Col. 4:8-14; 1 Thes. 3:2; etc.).

Paul had a genuine love for those he had led to Christ.  When he heard that the members of the Church of Thessalonica had concerns about the well-being of their deceased loved ones, he assured them that they were fine.  He wrote, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:16-18)!  He told them of the Doctrine of the Rapture!

He also reminded them that, as believers, they would not be caught off-guard by the Tribulation, as they would not be here to experience it (1 Thes. 5:1-8).  The lost in the passage (they) will be unaware of the horrible events to come, but believers (you) will not only know what is about to happen, you will be removed before God's day of wrath (1 Thes. 5:9-11)!

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us,
and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts,
and stablish you in every good word and work" (2 Thes. 2:16-17)!


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