The God of All Comfort
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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…”—2 Corinthians 1:31
“The God of all comfort.” All sorts of comforts are stored up in God. No matter what you may require to bear you up under your affliction, God has just the kind of comfort which you need—and He is ready to bestow it upon you! Rest assured of that and also believe that He will bestow it upon you if you ask it at His hands. Oh, I think this is a name full of good cheer to everyone who has grown weary because of the trials of the way through this great and terrible wilderness! God is the God of all comfort—not merely of some comfort, but of all comfort. If you need every kind of comfort that was ever given to men, God has it in reserve and He will give it to you! If there are any comforts to be found by God’s people in sickness, in prison, in need, in depression—the God of all comfort will deal them out to you according as you have need of them!—Charles Spurgeon2
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.—Isaiah 41:103
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.—John 16:334
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.—Psalm 23:45
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.—John 14:276
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.—Matthew 11:28–297
There are many people who receive countless blessings from Him and who rest on His promises, who yet do not get to know God Himself in a personal way. There are many who for a time trusted Christ and found great comfort in the assurances of His love, but who at length, in some season of trial, entered into close relations of personal friendship with Him. In this revealing they found treasures of love, of sympathy, and of comfort, far surpassing the best they had ever experienced before. In seeking, therefore, for help in sorrow, we should never be content with the gifts of God alone, or with the comforts which come in His words of promise; we should pass through all these to God Himself and seek satisfaction in the infinite blessedness of His love.
It is thus that the Scriptures represent God. He is ever, with lavish hand, dispensing His mercies and benefits, but He would not have us content with these. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” But He desires to manifest Himself to His children as He does not to the world. The great Bible saints found their satisfaction and their help, not in God’s gifts, but in God Himself. Thus the reason for David’s sublime assurance, “I shall not want,” was not because he had great stores of God’s gifts laid up, but because “the Lord is my Shepherd.” His confidence was not in the wealth which God had given him, which would cover all his wants for the future, but in God Himself. In another psalm the writer’s intense longing is not for any mere tokens of divine goodness, any mere benefits or favors, but for God Himself. “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God.” His thirst was unappeasable in any way but in fellowship with God. Nothing that God could have given him of the richest of His gifts, of the sweetest blessings of His hand, would have satisfied him. It was for God Himself, the living God, that he thirsted. The human soul was made for God, and God alone can meet its need.
The only heart-filling comfort, therefore, in time of sorrow is that which is in God Himself. It is thus, too, that our Father desires to bless us; He asks for our fullest trust, and He would reveal Himself to us in tenderest personal ways. After Horace Bushnell’s death there were found, dimly penciled on a sheet of paper, laid in his Bible, these words: “My mother’s loving instinct was from God, and God was in her love to me first—which love was deeper than hers and more protracted. Long years ago she vanished, but God stays by me still, embracing me in my grey hairs as tenderly and carefully as she did in my infancy, and giving to me as my joy and the principal glory of my life, that He lets me know Him, and helps me, with real confidence, to call Him my Father.”
Persuasions, arguments, and promises, however true, precious, and divine they may be, will never bring perfect quiet to a heart in its anguish. We may listen to all that earth’s most skillful comforters can tell us even of the consolations of the word of God, but our lonely spirit will be lonely still. There may be an assent to all that is said to us, and our mind may acquiesce, finding a measure of rest; yet still in the depths of our being we remain uncomforted. Something is wanting. But if we creep into God’s bosom, and nestle there like a tired child in the mother’s arms, and let God’s love enfold and embrace us, and flow into our heart, however deep the sorrow may be, we shall be comforted, satisfied. And even if every source of human joy has been cut off and we are left utterly bereft, we can still find in God that which will suffice.
There is a blessing in true human sympathy. God sends our friends to us to bring us little measures of His own love—little cupfuls of His grace. But He Himself is the only true comforter. His love alone is great enough to fill our heart, and His hand alone has skill to bind up our wounds.—J. R. Miller8
When all our hopes are gone and all seems to fail, even when our dreams are shattered and our ships come home with broken sails, we still have Jesus! And He's all we need!—David Brandt Berg
You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.—Psalm 18:289
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.—Psalm 32:710
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.—Psalm 139:7–1211
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.—Revelation 21:412
His Word is always a comfort and the voice of His Spirit is always an encouragement in the hour of greatest trial.—David Brandt Berg
Cast your burden on the Lord. Just roll it over on Jesus and roll over and go to sleep—and let Him stay up all night! Don't worry about it. Let the Lord do the worrying! His shoulders are broad enough to carry any load—all the burdens put together, including His own!—David Brandt Berg
Keep your eyes on Me at all times. The skies may be dark, the winds may blow, the waters may be deep and murky, and the waves may crash all around you. There may be no apparent way of escape. But I am your escape. I am the sunshine that chases away the dark clouds. My voice will still the tumultuous waves. My rays of sunlight will make the waters clear so that you can see the wondrous splendor that lies under the surface of the ocean of life.
So if all around you seems dark and gloomy, turn your eyes toward Me, your eternal sunshine. I will shine brightly upon your life and I will calm the seas, helping you to find peace and security.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
Published on Anchor May 2014. Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.
2 Delivered by Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, June 15, 1882.
8 The Ministry of Comfort (Hodder and Stoughton, 1901).