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GOD GIVES COMFORT

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Affliction is defined as “a state of pain, distress, grief, or misery.”

1.     Affliction involves an event that is hard to bear.

2.     Affliction can involve physical pain or emotional pain or both.

3.     Affliction can arise from many sources:

a.     Poor health

b.     Trouble relationships

c.     Natural disasters

d.     Our enemies

e.     The practice of sin

f.      Unwise choices

4.     The psalmist knew about affliction, and wrote:

1.     I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up… (Ps. 88:15).

2.     I am afflicted very much (Ps. 119:107).

 

B.    Comfort is defined as “relief from affliction.”

1.     Comfort is what one craves when he/she is afflicted.

2.     As Christians, we have a wonderful source of comfort.  This source is the Almighty God.

a.     II Corinthians 1:3

 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

 

b.     In II Corinthians 7:6, God is described as a God that comforteth those that are cast down.

 

C.    Tonight, we want to look at a lesson entitled:  “God Gives Comfort.”

 

I.               VERSES THE PROMISE COMFORT

 

A.    II Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation…

 

B.    Matthew 11:28-29

 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reset.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

C.    Hebrews 4:9

 

There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.

 

 

II.            EXAMPLES OF GOD’S COMFORT

 

A.    Hagar was cast out and she and Ishmael were near death.  At that time, God comforted them.

1.     Her grief (Gen. 16:16b)

 

And she sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.

 

2.     God spoke to Hagar (Gen. 16:17-19).

a.     He told her not to fear (v. 17).

b.     He promised that Ishmael would become a great nation (Gen. 16:18).

c.     He provided life-giving water to Hagar and her son (Gen. 16:19).

 

B.    Joseph

1.     Joseph had been afflicted in many ways:  sold into slavery, false accusations by Potiphar’s wife, and years in prison.

2.     When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, he was exalted and given a wife.  This wife bore him two sons who brought Joseph comfort.

a.     Manasseh:  For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house (Gen. 41:51).

b.     Ephraim:  For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction (Gen. 41:52).

 

C.    The children of Israel in Egyptian bondage

a.     The Egyptians made Israel to serve with rigor (Exo. 1:13-14).

b.     God’s response:

1)    Exodus 3:7

a)     I have seen their affliction.

b)    I have heard their cry.

c)     I know their sorrow.

2)    Exodus 3:8

 

And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

 

D.    Naomi

1.     Naomi returned from Moab a broken and afflicted woman.  She desired to be called Marah which means “bitterness” (Ruth 1:20-21).

2.     At the end of the book, Naomi is blessed with a child through her daughter-in-law Ruth and her near kinsman Boaz.  About this child, it was said:  And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age… (Ruth 4:15).  God brought Nomi comfort.

 

E.    Hannah

1.     She was barren and was afflicted by Peninah (I Sam. 1:6-17).

2.     The Lord blessed her with a son named Samuel who would become a prophet, priest, and judge in Israel (I Sam. 1:20).

 

 

F.     The widow Nain

1.     She grieved over the loss of her only son (Luke 7:12).

2.     The Lord saw her, had compassion on her, raised her son from the dead, and delivered him unto his mother (Luke 7:13-15).

 

III.          PLACES TO FIND GOD’S COMFORT

 

A.    Comfort for the sin-sick soul of man comes in the forgiveness of sins.

1.     The psalmist was burdened with sin (Ps. 38:4).

 

For mine iniquities are gone over mine head:  as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

 

2.     To have relief, sins must be removed.  Presently, that forgiveness is found only in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7).

 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

 

B.    Comfort can also be found through prayer to God.

1.     James 5:13a

 

Is any among you afflicted?  Let him pray...

 

2.     Philippians 4:6-7

 

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

3.     This was the way that Hannah received the comfort of God (I Sam. 1:10).

 

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.

 

C.    Comfort is found in God’s Word.

1.     Psalm 119:50

 

This is my comfort in my affliction:  for thy word hath quickened me.

 

2.     Romans 15:4

 

For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 

3.     I Thessalonians 4:18

 

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

 

4.     For God’s Word to comfort:

a.     We must know where to go in the Scriptures to have our needs addressed.

b.     We must read the Word of God with deep faith in the truthfulness of it message and its promises to man.

 

D.    Comfort is found in other individuals.

1.     I Thessalonians 5:11

 

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

 

2.     Example:  Paul had comforted the Thessalonians (I Thess. 2:11).

 

As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.

 

3.     All of us have experienced comfort from others through phone calls, cards, visits, texts messages, Facebook messages, Tweets, and gifts.

 

IV.          COMFORT FROM GOD REQUIRES EFFORT BY US

 

A.    When it comes to our sins, we must mourn to receive comfort (Matt. 5:4).

 

Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

 

B.    To receive comfort from Jesus Christ, we must take His yoke upon us (Matt. 11:29).

 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest for your souls.

 

C.    To receive comfort and rest in the hereafter, we must both fear God and labor to enter into that rest.

1.     Hebrews 4:1

 

Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

 

2.     Hebrews 4:11

 

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    The word “comfort” literally means “to call near” in the Greek language.

1.     Strength, encouragement, and consolation are found when we call God near to us through prayer or through His Word.

2.     We also receive strength when we allow others to draw near to us for support.

B.    Comfort is waiting for us in the hereafter.

1.     Lazarus was comforted in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:25).

 

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:  but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

 

2.     Right now we can have that comfort in prospect.

a.     We long for the comfort to come.  We anticipate it.  We also expect it.  This is what is defined as “hope.”

b.     In our hope, there is comfort (Ps. 16:9).

 

…my flesh shall also rest in hope.

 

C.    Tonight, we invite you to the comfort that God gives man.  To receive it, all you must do is be willing to walk in the old paths (Jer. 6:16).

 

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, wherein is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.