2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 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.”
There are three dimensions to our creation – each and every one of us is created with spirit, soul and body. At different times of our lives, each part of our being needs the encouragement of being comforted. If we are physically tired, sick or distressed, then unless our bodies receive the physical comfort they crave, it will feel as though our whole being is suffering. From time to time I have been privileged to pray with people who are suffering physically, often in the latter days of their lives. I’m full of admiration for the work of nurses and relatives who do everything necessary to ensure that when people aren’t able to do things for themselves, they are provided with the necessary physical comfort by others.
Then there is the comfort we need in our soul. We all need to know that we are loved and that the circumstances of our life are in order and not causing us, or anyone else, unnecessary grief or distress. What a comfort it is to know that in Jesus we have been redeemed out of the hands of the enemy and the deepest needs of our soul have been met. And what a joy it is to have reserves with which to provide an overflow of loving comfort to others.
But there is a deeper level of comfort which comes to us in the very core of our being – right into our spirit. This is the place where, in fellowship with the Lord, His streams of living water can flow – bringing comfort to every area of our being. If we are at peace in our spirit, then that supernatural peace – a peace which is beyond human understanding – becomes the richest source of comfort to our soul, and then, even, our bodies. It is in this place that we discover, whatever the other circumstances of our life, that there is a well of comfort which never runs dry. For He is the God of ALL comfort.
In verse 4 of David’s most well-loved Psalm (23), he focuses on the season that one day we will all have to pass through. It is a fact that for each and every one of us there will come a time when our life on earth is drawing to a close. It is then, perhaps, more than at any other time that we need to know the truth of what David is saying in these unforgettable words, “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.”
When that time comes let us never forget that a shadow only exists because there is a bright light shining, and we are only temporarily in the shade as we wait for His call home. When that call comes we will move out of the shadow of death into the gloriously bright light Heaven! There is an old saying which says, “Home is where the heart is”. When our heart is truly given into the Lord’s hands we can look forward to enjoying the light of our eternal home. We will then be beyond the need for comfort in this fallen world and rejoicing in the presence of the living God – “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,” as the old hymn puts it. What a joyful prospect for each one of us as we stretch out our hands in love to the One whose light can never be put out and where there is no shadow!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that in this life You are the God of all comfort, meeting each one of our deepest needs as we trust in You. But thank You above all that when our heart has been given to You, our home is where our heart is and that we will have absolutely nothing to fear when our time comes to traverse the valley of the shadow of death. Hallelujah, What a Saviour! In Jesus’s name. Amen.