“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3
Your God … my God … is THE God of all comfort! All comfort comes from Him.
The Greek word for “comfort” is parakleseos . It comes from para , “to the side of,” and kaleo , “to call.” It means “to call to ones’s side.” The idea is of someone coming along side of another and giving them aid, help, comfort, encouragement. They are not in front of you to pull or behind you to push. They are not off to the side to criticize you. They are right next to you, walking step by step with you with their arm around you to help you make it through the tough times.
Think about what people do naturally when someone they love is in trouble. They step right up next to them, put their arm around them, hold them tight, tell them they love them and are there for them. Loving people naturally give the people they love comfort in times of trouble. Is God less loving than people? Of course not. God is Love. He is the Highest Example of Love. God does more loving and comforting than the billions of people in the world combined.
When you and I suffer, when we hurt, when we’re in pain and trouble, God steps up close, puts His big arms around us, holds us close, tells us He loves us with all His heart and comfort us. He is the God of All Comfort.
Notice Paul writes that God is the God of all comfort. The Greek word is pases . It includes the idea of totality or the whole. A professor of Greek used to tell me that “all means all and that’s all all means.” It was a simple way of remembering that “all” covers everything. There’s nothing that “all” does not cover. God doesn’t provide “some” comfort or “a little” comfort or “most of” the comfort. He provides ALL comfort. He is the God of ALL comfort! He gives us all the aid, help and encouragement we will ever need in life.
Everyone needs comfort. Nobody leads a perfect, worry-free, trouble-free life. Everybody has problems. Everyone suffers and feels deep sorrow at times. We all need to hear an encouraging word, have someone put their arm around us and tell us it’s going to be alright. We need someone to walk with us through the tough times and guide us to safe harbor when we can’t see because our eyes are too filled with tears to know where to go. Everyone needs help. That’s what God does so well: He helps, He aids, He comforts, He encourages, He guides. Christ is “in” us comforting us through life.
The Bible is rich in examples of God’s comfort. Here’s just one example from the Old Testament. God brought comfort to His people in the southern kingdom of Israel through the prophet Nahum. The name Nahum means “comfort” in Hebrew. Nahum writes his pronouncement of God’s judgment to the wicked people of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. Assyria had captured the northern kingdom of Israel about a century earlier. Assyria was after the southern kingdom, too. Nahum’s prophecy warned Nineveh that God was angry with them and would defeat them. Inside these prophetic pronouncements are a couple of choice thoughts about how God comes alongside His troubled people to comfort them during very tough times.
“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies. What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time . . . For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob Like the excellence of Israel, For the emptiers have emptied them out And ruined their vine branches.”
Nahum 1:7-9; 2:2
Remember, no one can stand in the way of God. God is the Victor. Remember also that you are a child of God. Christ is “in” you and you are “in Christ. He is there to protect you, guide you, fight for you, help you, comfort you. If God is strong enough to defeat one of the most powerful nations on earth and drive them from Israel, He is certainly strong enough to take care of you day by day.
I pray these words are an encouragement this week as you face the trials and troubles of life. Remember, God is walking with you, arm around you, speaking strong words of comfort, pointing the way, guiding you through trouble, loving you with all His heart. He is “the God of all comfort!”