Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. II Corinthians 1:3-4
Yes, you may have to read that several times to follow the progression of Paul’s thoughts. He has got it down,though. Above all else and first off Paul praises God the Father. No matter what situation we are in, or find our loved ones in, if we can muster up the idea to praise God anyway, it can change our attitude. Just praising Him can be a comfort because it lifts our focus off the now into eternity.
Next Paul calls Him the Father of all mercies. Our God invented mercy and exhibits it better than we ever could. He love us so dearly, mercy trumps everything else. Whatever the circumstances of our pain or discomfort( lack of comfort), evenif it is caused by our own sin, God is there when we call on Him.
That is why He is the God of all Comfort. He can take the discomfort and wrap it in His peace., like a parent tucking their child into bed. Snug, warm, secure. He comforts us in all our afflictions. All of them, if we let Him. Mental, physical, spiritual, situational – all of them. He has the balm to soothe a troubled soul, as the hymn says. By praising Him, we have already opened the door of our lives and asked Him to enter and bring us comfort.
So, now that we have expereinced God’s comfort, and can help other to do the same. Even when someone is going through something you never have -like a death of a child, or a horrible accident, or losing their home in a natural disaster or because they can’t find work – whatever it is, you can still be a comfort. You don’t have to have been there and done that to bring them comfort because you can guide them to the One who knows what they are going through better than anyone else and who knows what lies ahead.
Comfort comes in many forms. It may mean just holding them as they heave gasping sobs. It may mean calling them a week later to see how they are doing. It may mean praying with them. It definitely means praying for them. You can give them the comfort from the Father of all mercies because you know the pathway to getting it. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your actions and reactions, let Christ fill your heart for that person and let God’s mercy and comfort flow through you. In other words , each of us can be a conduit of comfort.
Because we are able to give comfort, we can get comfortable with the idea that we can be of help. We don’t have to wring our hands and say we don’t know how we can help. All we have to do is open ourselves to let the comfort of God flow through us. He will do the rest.