Comfort From Above
March 13, 2022

Comfort From Above

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbShVMy0QWs

There have been many occasions when the Lord has spoken to my heart the need to comfort His people through messages that I preach. Sometimes I can get kind of deep when I talk about God and His word for our lives. And then I hear these words, which is what I’ve been hearing these past several weeks.

It comes from Isaiah 40, that says, “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God” (Isaiah 40:1 NKJV)

And so, today I’d like to share with you a message I’ve entitled, “Comfort from Above.” But I also toyed with entitling it, “Heavenly Comfort,” or “Devine Comfort.”

Now, the Bible has a lot to say to us concerning the comfort given to us by God. And this is not without its significance, that is, my using God’s Word to reveal this, because God’s word comforts us when we’re going through it. In other words, God comforts us through His word.

In Psalm 119:49, the Psalmist said, “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope.” And now look at the comfort he receives from God’s word.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:50 NKJV)

Now, I like how the New American Standard Bible translates the latter half of this verse saying, “Your word has revived me” (Psalm 119:50 NASB)

The Bible is the only book, or for that matter, the only thing that we can read that brings comfort in times of difficulty. And that’s because it is within God’s word where God’s precious promises are revealed that bring consolation and comfort to our souls.

It is what the Apostle Paul said to those in Thessalonica and how they were to comfort one another with the words he spoke to those believers who had lost loved ones and not knowing if they would ever see them again, and what their ultimate fate would be.

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 NKJV)

And then he gives us these words. “Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18 NKJV)

And what we see from God’s word is that it is the Lord and Him only that comforts us. And now we get to our signature verse, 2 Corinthians 1:3.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion) and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV)

The word used here for “mercies,” is the Greek word for compassion, that is, having deep feeling about someone’s difficulty or misfortune, and it is used of the deep feelings that God has for all of us, and then how He powerfully shows and shares these feelings to those who follow Him.

The word that is used for “compassion” is very telling and instructive because it refers to those emotions that come from deep within a person.

We see this in the compassion shown by Jesus to the mother of a young man who had died (Luke 7:13). Jesus felt the pain and anguish of that mother’s loss down in His guts and met her at her deepest need as He raise her son from the dead.

It also says that when Jesus saw the multitudes that He was moved with compassion. It said, “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NIV).

And here’s the really neat part, when Jesus gave them the support and guidance they needed, He gave them hope as well, that is, He gave them hope where it was lacking, and this comes from the word comfort.

The word “comfort” means to come along side someone to offer aid and give encouragement. It means to soothe, reassure, bring relief, strengthen, and to give hope. You might say that the word comfort is a word of relief, because it involves giving in times of distress, fear, tension, pain, uncertainty, and hopelessness.

Now, I’ll delve deeper into this aspect of God coming alongside a little later in our time together.

But for our verse here, God is called the “Father of compassion” and the “God of all comfort.” And through what we see in the definition of these words, God, in His mercy and love is eager to provide comfort to His children in every circumstance. That is, in whatever trial we face, our Heavenly Father knows the situation and offers us comfort as needed.

Further, calling Him the God of all comfort teaches that all comfort ultimately comes from God. Therefore, He is the source of our peace, happiness, and blessings.

We see God’s comfort through the prophet Jeremiah when He said, “I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31:13 NAS)

In this verse, God is speaking of the time that will come when He restores Israel, and He shows us exactly how in the preceding verse. He said, “Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all.” (Jeremiah 31:12b NKJV)

God comforting us in times of great sorrow is seen in Jesus’s Beatitudes when He said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

It is, therefore, the Lord and Him only that comforts us, and that’s because He is the God of all comfort.

Now, what we see from God being our comforter is that His comfort is …

Excellent

Or as I like to say, God’s comfort is beyond, that is, it is beyond anything that we can compare it to, even that of a mother’s comfort and love for her children.

(This we’ll look at in a moment because the Lord Himself uses a mother’s comfort in the type of comfort He provides.)

But God’s comfort being excellent means that it is pure, that is, there is nothing added into it, because nothing else is needed. It is also solid, which goes along with one of the names used for God, that is, He is our Rock.

And Jesus tells us that it is upon Him as that Rock and His word that we are to build our lives.

He said, “Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24 NKJV)

And then Jesus continues to explain how excellent this is. He said, “And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:25-27 NKJV)

Sufficient

Being sufficient means that it is enough to meet the need and then some. It is sufficient because it meets and satisfies the desires of our hearts.

This sufficiency is seen in what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:20.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

Certain

This is seen in a comparison God makes to how He will comfort in the same way a mother comforts her children.

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13 NKJV)

Now, this idea of certainty comes from God saying, “I will comfort you.” That is, there is no plan B.

Now, before I can move on to the last point, I can’t leave without going further in what God says in our verse. And here’s the point. When your children or grandchildren ask, “What is God like?” We can, with Scriptural confidence, that is, with upmost certainty we can say, “He is like your mom who comforts you, only better!”

There is a Jewish proverb that says, “God could not be everywhere, and so He made mothers.” Of course, we know that God is not limited because He is infinite. But, nevertheless, this proverb speaks about the kind of support and comfort that God provides.

Within the context of our passage in Isaiah, God was bringing judgment upon Israel for her idolatry and how the people’s hypocritical sacrifices were an abomination to Him showing just how far their hearts were from Him.

However, God wanted to communicate to the Israelites that after His judgment, He would comfort them, and Jerusalem would be restored. And the best way for God to communicate this comfort was with something everyone could readily identify with; and that is a mother’s comfort.

But what does this comfort look like? If we read the verses surrounding Isaiah 66:13, we see the comfort of God coming in the form of His peace and joy. But also, His presence. Just like a mother carries her baby close to her bringing the child a sense of comfort and security, so does the Lord’s presence carry us, giving us that same sense of comfort and security.

I am sure that most of us can remember when we were children how we would fall and scraped ourselves. Well, when this happened, we would generally run to mom. She would kiss our boo-boo, wipe away our tears, and say it would be all right. Now we know that this never really alleviates pain, but back then it usually always did.

And never would we run to dad, and that’s because he’d put a Band-Aid on us and tell us to buck up.

A wounded soldier returned from Viet Nam in critical condition. He was blind, his mind was clouded, and his body was mangled. His mother traveled over 2,000 miles to be by his side. As soon as she entered the hospital room she laid her hands on his forehead without saying a word. Instantly he said, “Mother, is that you? It must be you!” She hadn’t spoken a word, but he knew the tender touch of her hand.

That’s the way it is with God. We can’t see Him, and yet we feel His touch when it hurts. We speak to Him but receive no audible answer, but we leave His presence calmed and consoled as a child.

We have a wonderful picture that Jesus painted of the certainty of His comfort when He said that He would tend to people much like a mother hen would tend to her young.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings!” (Luke 13:34 NKJV)

And yet, no matter how great a mother’s love and comfort is, it still is insufficient. And that’s because it is too frail and will fail. But not so with God.

The Lord said through Isaiah, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15 NKJV)

And then through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord said, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV)

It Never Ends

God’s comfort never ends, it is found in all places, and no place is out of bounds for God’s love and comfort to reach. It is present at all times, there is never a bad or wrong time for God to comfort His people. And God’s comfort is found in every situation and in every circumstance, we’re faced with.

God is always there, to comfort especially when we pass through the valley of the shadow of death, and He provides that door of hope in the middle of the valley of despair.

To His people, God said, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV)

Our Heavenly Comforter

While Jesus was with humanity here upon the earth, He was about to leave, going first to the cross to die for our sins, He then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven giving comfort to us remembering when He said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)

But knowing that we need to be comforted. His promise is that we would not be alone, but that the Lord God would to lead and guide us, fortifying us as we face the trials and tribulations in this life, the same way as He was with the disciples.

And He does when He said that He would send another comforter, who would be none other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and that the Holy Spirit would dwell with us in the same way Jesus dwelt and comforted His disciples.

“If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever … you know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18 KJV)

Now, the key to this whole passage is not so much the word “comforter,” but the word, “another.” In the Greek it means one that is the similar and the same. So what Jesus was saying is that He was going to leave us with someone who would comfort us the same way He comforted. And that someone would be the same as Jesus, who Himself is the second person of the Godhead, and that person is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead.

This is brought out even further when Paul used this same name to describe Jesus that Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit. It is the Greek word, “Paraklete,” which means one who comes alongside to speak in our defense, to speak on our behalf.

Later, Jesus said that this is a far better exchange, that is, it is to our advantage for this to take place. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7 NKJV)

As hard as it may be for us to accept, Jesus said that having the Holy Spirit in us is better than having Jesus physically with us. Now, on the surface, this doesn’t make much sense. I mean, how awesome would it to have Jesus here with us. But Jesus said, “This is even better. I’m going to give you the Holy Spirit.”

Conclusion

And so, when we face this world that is filled with such evil, and fear rises within our heart, and our souls ache over what we see, we can have this comfort, that the Lord is with us the whole way.

It was this very promise, that God would never leave or forsake us, that gave great comfort to His people and strengthen them in what lied ahead.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

And that is exactly what brings us comfort today, and that is the presence of God.

· When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need not fear, because God is with us to comfort us (Psalm 23:5).

· When times of sorrow and pain come our way, and in our time of mourning over our sinful condition, God comforts us (Matthew 5:4).

· When we feel hopeless as we suffer through the many trials and tribulations, the presence of God comforts us and helps us to overcome (John 16:33).

And so, my prayer for every one of us is that the presence of the Lord God would comfort our hearts and give to us the assurance of heaven in the end.

Let me end our time with a benediction given by Paul.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NKJV)









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