“No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son,
or the only begotten God. Who
is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has
declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where
He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He
has made Him known].”
~John 1:18 AMPLIFIED Bible~
“I just needed someone to COMFORT ME with skin on them.”
LOCKED IN A PRISON:
When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, California, I remember the times going with my parents to my grandparents house in San Bernardino. They lived in an old stucco house with a red-tiled roof my granddad built-in the late 1920’s.
Although my grandparents never had many restrictions for their grandchildren, one no-no was repeated every time we visited, “Never, ever, lock the only bathroom door in the house!” It was an old black-iron key locked door with the key hung on the inside door handle by a white shoestring. My Mom would tell me that the key was so old, that it never really worked properly and that was the reason for the ‘house rule.’
Now being a young boy, saying that you can’t do something, was like seeing a sign on the front porch that read, DON’T TOUCH–WET PAINT!—you just got to touch it. So one day, being a typically bored little boy, I decided to take a bath in the afternoon and as you’ve probably guessed already...I locked the door behind me.
After spending hours in the tub, and the water became lukewarm, I finally got out and dried off; then put my clothes back on to go outside and play.
It was now time to leave. But to my horror, I discovered I couldn’t unlock the door. I panicked! I felt like a three-year old, thinking…“I might spend the rest of my life in this bathroom.”
My parents–and likely my grandparent’s neighbors–heard my screams of desperation for help. “Are you okay?” my Mom shouted through the locked door. “Did you fall in the tub?” “I cant’s unlock the door” I shouted back. “Get me out of here!”
Now what I wasn’t aware of right then, my Dad had gone out to the garage and grabbed a step-ladder off a hook, put it against the bathroom’s outside window and pried the window away from the frame. He then pulled my young frame through the window to the outside and out of my prison. “Thanks Dad!” and then ran off to play.
Many of us think that’s how the Christian life is supposed to work.
We get into a tight space in life and we do all that we can to free ourselves. But we can’t free ourselves, so we pray– then God will show up. He hears our cry–“GET ME OUT OF HERE! I want to play.”–and unlocks the door to the blessings we desire.
The TRUTH is that God sometimes does unlock the door for us. But more often than not, the Christian life doesn’t work that way. We find ourselves in some kind of ‘JAM’–WE CRY OUT TO GOD to open the door for us–but nothing happens.
That brings us to our study and my investigation into the verses of Scripture which starts out with these words:
“COMFORT, COMFORT My people, says your God
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’S hand
double for all her sins.”
~ Isaiah 40:1-2 (NIV)~
Before moving on, I decided to investigate the meaning, the definition behind the word COMFORT:
Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form: comfort, v. calm, soothe, stroke, untroubled (CALMNESS, UNANXIETY); condole with, console, solace (RELIEF, PITY).
The Hebrew word: “comfort” = n~j~n@, (nj~n); be sorry, repent, be comforted.
The Hebrew verb, “COMFORT” is also a command. Here in Isaiah 40:1, God is giving a command to someone and the experience of comfort is dependent on obedience to this command. Also, the verb COMFORT, is a second person plural, which means it is addressed to more than one person. In good old Texas style, it means “y’all comfort.” God is the speaker, addressing the prophets (plural), the heralds and ministers of the Word.
So…”the original root seems to reflect the idea of ‘breathing deeply,‘ the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or COMFORT.” Just maybe, its like when someone takes a deep sigh of relief... while at the same time is experiencing God’s COMFORT.
The same root-word is used in Psalm 23:4: “Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they will comfort me”–‘breathing deeply, sighing.’
THE PURPOSE OF COMFORT:
–People need encouragement!
–People need the Lord!
–People need to know the COMFORT of God!
I love when I come upon the word “but” in Scripture. In English, the word becomes a “conjunction junction” (Grammar-Rock TV series–1975). “It is used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.” So here comes the “but.”
“BUT”…the encouragement of Scripture is not simply designed to make us feel better or remove our pain. God loves us and He cares about our pain. “BUT”…His COMFORT is ALWAYS designed to lift us out of the muck of discouragement. So that we might have the wisdom, the vision to grasp the purposes of God along with strength to run the race that the Lord has put before us (Hebrews 12:1-3).
 “He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].“
 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;“
 “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”
THE BIBLICAL “PRINCIPLE” OF COMFORT:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity, mercy) and the God [Who is the source] of every [ALL] comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP).
The GOD of EVERY [ALL] Comfort–
What that means is, that the apostle is completely sufficient and adequate in the experience of life. In fact, GOD’S WORD fills us with indications of the sufficiency of God for us too.
The “Three Comforters” mentioned in the New Testament.
1. The New Testament tells us that we have the Holy Spirit, given to us by Christ; the Divine Comforter who lives with us [indwells us] forever (John 14:16-17).
2. Then we have the Lord Jesus as a comforter/advocate, as He acts as our High Priest and makes intercession for us in Heaven (1 John 2:1-2). So we have a COMFORTER on earth; we have a COMFORTER in Heaven at the right hand side of the Father.
3. So, the FATHER is our comforter, the Son is our comforter and the Holy Spirit is our comforter; we have two in Heaven and one with us on earth.
So believe me, WE HAVE COMFORT AVAILABLE! We are surrounded by COMFORT!!
“BUT I NEED SOMEONE…WHO HAS SKIN ON THEM TO COMFORT ME RIGHT NOW”:
The apostle Paul gives us the answer to that question in 2 Corinthians 1:4:
“…so that we may also be able to comfort those who are in any kind
of trouble or distress, with comfort with which
we ourselves are comforted by God.”
GOD comforts us in ALL our afflictions, not just ‘some’ of our afflictions. In order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction: illness, sickness, ailment, malady, complaint (DISEASE), pain, trouble, hardship, curse, (MISFORTUNE). Have you gone through and experienced affliction? Of course you have and it was never by “happenstance.” God has a reason for everything!
A Mother’s Words of Comfort–“I have traveled down the same road.”
I was reading a little devotional commentary that is true to the Word of God. Dr. George W. Truett, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas for 50 years, told the following story of a young, unbelieving couple in a sermon.
The young couple, who had just lost their baby, came to Dr. Truett, asking him to conduct the funeral, so he did. He said later he had the JOY of seeing them both trust the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many months later, he said, the young mother who had lost her child stepped forward, went to a young girl’s side and said, “I passed through this and I know what you’re passing through. God called me and through the darkness I came to Him. He’s comforted me, and He’ll comfort you.”
Dr. Truett said the first mother did more for the second mother than I could have done, maybe in days or months. For the first young mother had traveled down the same road of suffering.
That is what Paul is talking about in the experiences of life that are designed to fit us; through our personalities, in helping others who are having the same experiences in life.
Now we don’t understand, fully the reasons why there is so much suffering going on in the world around us. But…one reason–not the least notable reason is that there may be common comfort that goes on in the believers in Christ Jesus. We are BLESSED to be a BLESSING in this world; perhaps we are COMFORTED to be a COMFORT to others.