God the Giver of Comfort
Comfort from heaven
Images and associations
The mention of God may conjure an endless array of images and associations to the God fearing soul. Perhaps His abundant power as displayed in the heavens which night after night 'declare his glory' comes readily to mind (Psalms 19.1) Perhaps the intellect is tantalised by the eternal nature of God who has no beginning and no end but who is from 'everlasting to everlasting.' (Psalms 90.2) Almighty, King of Eternity, are but some of His titles. Of course it is right and proper to think of Him in these grandiose ways, but in so doing it is possible to fall into a trap. We could forget to view Him as Paul told us to in his second letter to the Corinthians, namely, as 'the God of all comfort.' (2 Cor. 1.4)
Are our problems too small?
It is worthy of note that He comforts us in all our trials. There is no trial too big for Him to take care of, nor any trial too small to warrant His interest. While many God fearing people may have no problem accepting God's handling of the big problems (as we perceive them), but they may feel He would not be willing to come to their aid and help with their very little problems. They may think God is just too big, powerful and mighty to be interested in their earthly affairs. Thinking this way diminishes faith. Think about this: If God is the king of eternity, and His existence and glory are without end stretching back into all eternity past and equally forward into all eternity future, then when is any problem properly defined as big alongside Him? Alongside eternity, everything is infinitesimal. It's the size of a person's faith that interests Him. No problem is too small to warrant His interest.
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul taps into one of the great secrets of joy. To feel a sense of joy you must give joy. Regarding comfort imparted by God, the Christian is then charged with a responsibility, "to comfort them which are in any trouble." One of the great antidotes for feelings of unhappiness is to give some happiness away! even if you feel devoid of it. When the Christian's mind is focused on strengthening others, then he himself is strengthened in the process. To strengthen someone else is to strengthen oneself.
Called to His side
In Greek, the word for comfort (para-kaleo) carries the idea of calling to one's side for the purpose of imparting strength. It is a tremendous though that God in a very real sense calls us to His side to give us courage. He may do this through various operations of His mighty spirit, whether through His living word, through others, or through some other facet of the 'manifold grace of God.' Whatever means He employs, the intent is the same, to call inferior creatures to His side and impart strength to enable them to stand when otherwise they would fall. Such is the supreme benevolence of the God who gives comfort.