A mother was disturbed one evening by the cry of one of her children. She left the kitchen to investigate. The mother discovered that her 4-year-old son was crying because his 2-year-old sister had pulled his hair.
The mother comforted her son by saying, “Do not be mad at your sister. She did not know that it would hurt to pull your hair.”
In a few moments, the mother returned to the kitchen. As soon as she got to the kitchen she heard another cry. This time the 2-year-old was crying.
Again, the mother went to investigate. The 4-year-old said to his mother, “Now she knows how it feels!”
Most of you know how it feels to have your hair pulled. You have experienced the hurt that comes as a result of the actions of others. You have felt the pain that come as a result of external circumstances.
For example, you may have experienced a fire, a flood, a tornado, an earthquake, a hurricane, or the unexpected death of a loved one. You may experienced a financial setback or disease in your body.
Perhaps your hurt and pain is internal. In other words, you have deep inner struggles that cause you pain. Whether your hurt and pain comes from within or without, you can be sure that you live in an afflicted world. And because of that fact, you need comfort.
How does a follower of Jesus Christ find comfort? The Apostle Paul wrote about finding comfort in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. Paul mentioned two steps to find comfort.
The first step is to express your need for comfort. In other words, you must acknowledge you need comfort. Paul used words like trouble, tribulation, affliction, and suffering to describe the stress or distress in the lives of people.
Many people live under the heavy weight of constant external pressure. The pressure is like the crushing of grapes to put the fruit in a more usable form. The pressure is like the cracking of a pecan. People are so overloaded that they have cracked and are in need of comfort. People are so stressed out and overwhelmed that they need help.
So, the first step to find comfort is to open your mouth and say, “I need comfort.”
The second step to find comfort is to experience the source of comfort. Where do you turn in the midst of trouble? What is your resource? Who is the source of comfort?
Paul taught that God is the source of comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NLT) says, “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us.”
Where does comfort come from? God. God is the source of every mercy. God is the God of all comfort. God is your perpetual resource.
How does God comfort you? How does God dispense comfort? The comfort of God is dispensed in at least four ways.
First, God uses scripture. The Word of God soothes and strengthens the troubled heart. Every follower of Jesus should be able to recall an experience where reading the Word of God brought you comfort during a troublesome time in your life.
Second, God uses saints. God uses the caring ministry of other followers of Jesus to bring comfort.
Third, God uses subtraction. God can bring comfort by removing the affliction.
Fourth, God uses the Spirit. Prior to his death, Jesus taught about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus declared that one role of the Holy Spirit is come alongside the disciple and give comfort.
The bottom line is that no matter what happen in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ, you have a resource. You can find comfort when you admit, “I need comfort.” You can find comfort when you experience the source of comfort — God.