How Can A Christian Be Comforted?

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians  1 : 3-7
Subject: Comfort; Peace of God; Troubles; Trials

Why do bad things happen to good people? Answers to that question never seem to meet every need. Why the accidental deaths of two of our most loved members? The Why Question rarely brings the answers we want, and that is certainly true for a desire for an immediate answer.

I doubt if we will ever be satisfied with the answers we think up on this side of heaven. We might pray down an answer but we will never work one up. Even without an answer to the why question can there be comfort in the midst of sorrow? Yes!

In the text several forms of the Greek Word comfort are used, in fact some form of the word comfort is used ten times. So Paul understood first hand the need for comfort.

In one of the classes I had 30 years ago I was required to go room to room in the hospital. I went into the first room and a 30 year old man had both legs cut off at the knees. I wanted to get him to talk so I said, “How do you relate to this operation.” He said, “I can't kick.”

How do you comfort someone in that situation? We note what the Bible says in the text before us.

I. Recognize The Source of Our Comfort

Note 1:3. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;”

Note how the source of this comfort is identified.

A. The Considerate Father 1:3a

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Blessed be the God and Father! Barnes states that eleven out of Thirteen Epistles of Paul, begin with exclamations of praise, joy, and thanksgiving.

Considerate Enough To Send His Only Begotten Son.

B. The Compassionate Father 1:3b

“the Father of mercies."

Mercies Begin With Our Heavenly Father.

C. The Comforting Father 1:3c-4a

“and God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation” Comfort Comes From The Father In The Presence Of His Holy Spirit.

The Greek word “parakleetos,” means called along side Of. “Para,” equals “along side of!” For example: “Para Medic” or “Para Legal.”

Look at John 16:5-7 5, “But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, ‘Whither goest thou?’ 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” KJV

God's Comfort Is Eternal. 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17, “15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” KJV

A little girl came home from a neighbor's house where her little friend had died. "Why did you go?" questioned her father. "To comfort her mother," said the child. "What could you do to comfort her?" "I climbed into her lap and cried with her."

The Considerate, Compassionate, Comforting Father Lost a Son. And, he it did for our redemption. He makes it possible for us to go to heaven.

II .Recognize The Sharing Of Our Comfort

Note 1:4-6.

A. We May Receive Comfort To Share In Afflictions

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort, wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Paul here gives the purpose of affliction in the preacher's life, in any Christian's life, to qualify him for ministry to others.

B. We May Receive Comfort In Abundance 1:5

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”

Paul suffered – note 2 Corinthians 11:24-30, “24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.” KJV

C. We May Receive Comfort In Abiding

Note 1:6, “And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”

I asked LaRissa Mell Thursday Night as about 1,000 people came through the line if she wanted me to get her a chair. She said, "No this is giving me strength." A little while later I went into the fellowship hall and saw Carlos Boyer, since he had gone through a similar experience as his wife was killed in a car wreck; I asked him if he gained strength from those who came through the line and he said, “Yes!”

I planned to preach from this text today and those comments relate to this text. They received strengthening comfort from many who went through the line. Carlos and Rick Mell's family can share the comfort they have received, and will receive.

The Sequoia trees of California tower as much as 300 feet above the ground. Strangely, these giants have unusually shallow root systems that reach out in all directions to capture the greatest amount of surface moisture. Seldom will you see a redwood standing alone, because high winds would quickly uproot it. That's why they grow in clusters. Their intertwining roots provide support for one another against the storms. Suffering comes to all of us, and no one can suffer for us. Even so, just like those giant Sequoia trees, we can be supported in those difficult times by the prayers and understanding   of loved ones and friends. It's when we are too proud to admit our needs to others that we are in the greatest danger.

One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man approached him and said, "If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies were crying for their mother, who would never come back, you wouldn't be saying what you're saying. Tragically, a few days later, Tucker's wife was killed in a train wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the same Citadel for the funeral. After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and then turned to those attending. "The other day a man told me I wouldn't speak of the sympathy of Jesus if my wife had just died. If that man is here, I want to tell him that Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, but it has a song put there by Jesus. I want that man to know that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today."

John 14:1, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” NASV

III. Recognize The Steadfastness Of Our Comfort

Note 1:7, “And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” KJV

To hope, has the idea of waiting with expectation and patience.

A. We May Be Steadfast While Suffering

We read in 1:7a, “And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings,..."

"Steadfast" means to plant the feet down.

B. We May Be Steadfast While Sharing Our Comfort

Also we read 1:7b, “so shall ye be also of the consolation.”

John MacArthur points out that, “Comfort from God is not an end in itself. Its purpose is that believers also might be comforters.”

Robert Louis Stevenson tells of a storm that caught a vessel off a rocky coast and threatened to drive it and its passengers to destruction. In the midst of the terror, one daring man, contrary to orders, went to the deck, made a dangerous passage to the pilot house and saw the steerman, lashed fast at his post of holding the wheel unwaveringly, and inch by inch, turning the ship out, once more, to sea. The pilot saw the watcher and smiled.

Then, the daring passenger went below and gave out a note of cheer: "I have seen the face of the pilot, and he smiled. All is well." In the midst of a storm Jesus said be of good cheer.

Matt 14:26-27, “26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit;’ and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’” KJV


I have a friend named Bob Engle who's son died during a routine tonsillectomy. Bob was not a Christian, and a pastor friend went to visit him and just continued to be their for him. It impressed Bob so much that he finally submitted his life to Christ. Now Bob looks for opportunities to share with suffering people, and has led several others to Christ.