The God of All Comfort
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
When my husband’s mother died, we felt like orphans. Neither of us had parents living anymore. I was reminded of Jesus’ words to His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). The word Jesus used is the Greek orphanos which means bereft of a father, parents, a teacher, guide, or guardian.”* KJV translates His words as “I will not leave you comfortless.
Jesus told His disciples that their grief could be compared to a woman in labor: “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:21-22).
The disciples did rejoice when they saw Jesus alive again, and they forgot the three days of pain they had suffered while He had been entombed. Those of us who live thousands of years later haven’t physically seen Jesus, but many of us have known His comfort as we mourn the loss of a loved one. We still feel sorrow, but we also experience a supernatural calm and assurance as His Presence embraces us.
The Bible says we do not grieve as others “who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). We know we will see Jesus and our loved ones again.
Are you mourning a loss? Cry out to God. He will comfort you. He is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Have you known God’s comfort? Seek others who need this comfort and help them bear their burden.
Over one third of the psalms are called laments—cries to God for help. Experiencing all kinds of emotion including anger and frustration, the psalmists soon turned their eyes to God and received comfort. See Psalms 13, 17, 22, 31, 54, 57, 86, and 142.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-55. What is the hope of the dead in Christ? How are they raised?
Read John 16:16-33. What truths did Jesus share with the disciples that could give them joy and peace in the midst of sorrow? In what way do His words encourage you?
Read Isaiah 61:1-3 and Luke 4:18-21. How did Jesus fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy?
To study more about the comfort God provides, see The Comforter.
Nancy J. Baker
*Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for orphanos (Strong’s 3737)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 29 May 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?