Got Comfort?


Hymnwriter Frances Ridley Havergal lived only forty-two years, but her influence is still felt today. Her most famous hymn, “”Take My Life and Let It Be,”” written in 1874, has inspired many Christians to devote themselves to the Lord’s service. God also used Frances Havergal’s inspiring hymns to comfort her as death approached in 1879. Shortly before she died of a lingering illness, Havergal was heard faintly singing one of the sixty hymns she had written. (from Today in the Word).

It is something about death that clamors for comfort in those who are near it or who are left as survivors for those who experienced death. In life, we go through situations or circumstances that feel like death when we don’t have the right perspective. I know that I am preoccupied with being done with the struggles of life. Let’s face it. Life is a struggle for the most of us. It does not matter if you have the material or not. Regardless, our deficits show us that we need the savior, Jesus Christ. Many of the disciples experienced hardships. The Apostle Paul understood what it meant to long for comfort.

What does comfort mean? How is one comforted? In the new testament, comfort is the Hebrew word parakaleō or paraklēsis. While there is a difference in the two words primarily used for comfort in the New Testament, the general idea is to have one come along side for encouragement or consolation. Whether we fully understand that concept or not, we all know that when we are down we want to be helped in our feeling of loss. How does that happen? 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 is one passage that gives us insight to that. Here are a few verses. 

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

The entire passage is powerful, so please read it. Here we see Paul giving praise to God the Father for the comfort that is in Him and the Son. It is clear that true comfort only comes from Jehovah, the triune God. The passage tells us that we go through hardships even facing death for one primary purpose. Verse 9 tells us that “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” Our greatest concern is death. Paul’s position is that God, through Jesus Christ, raises us from the dead, so what fear should we have. We can be comforted in hardship or death since it will not mean the end for us who trust in Christ. Again, as the disciples said, What Manner of Man is This? If we want comfort, we must have Christ.



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