What is on your list of things that bring you comfort? Toddlers often have a silky edged blanket or a cuddly toy that they want to hold for security and reassurance. Being held in the gentle arms of their mother or father gives most children a place of solace and consolation. Sometimes all that is needed is a bandage, a hug, a treat, or a word of encouragement. As we grow older, the places and people to whom we turn when we are experiencing grief or loss, pain or misunderstanding, are very diverse. Some folks want solitude and space for quiet reflection and introspection while others are eager to be with people who will share in their sorrow and understand the feelings which they are experiencing. There are individuals who find solace in things that remind them of happier moments, satisfying relationships or times of fulfillment and wholeness. Books, music, pictures, nature, and food are all high on the most popular sources of comfort.
When Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthians, he knew that they were suffering various hardships. Paul, himself, was also under great pressure and experiencing real persecution. In many ways this letter was written to encourage the believers to stay strong and to help them grasp that Jesus understood completely the troubles that they were facing. He wanted them to grasp that through Jesus they could find the solace, the comfort, and the purpose that would help them have patient endurance. Isn’t it interesting that Paul described the Lord as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort or encouragement”? Both at the beginning and at the end of this letter Paul passed on to them the reason that he was able to live confidently and joyfully in spite of enormous opposition – “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Do you need some comfort today? The old hymn says it so well.
“Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father. Thou changest not. Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been Thou forever will be. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand has provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”