I Thessalonians 4:18
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
These days we could all use a little more comfort. We are living in uncomfortable times. I have always been struck with the story of David, exiled by King Saul, encouraging himself in the Lord. David made the purposeful decision to stay strong in his faith by getting alone with God and focusing on His power and goodness. Sometimes we need to seek God’s comfort. We should know where to look – the Bible. I‘m glad that in a world filled with uncertainty, chaos, and manipulation, we have a source of comfort, peace, and truth. We must comfort each other with these words.
This passage is used often at the funeral of a believer. It brings hope to the hurting and causes the living believer to look forward to the day of reunion. In this devotion I will reference that aspect of this passage, but I want to focus primarily of the subject of comfort.
- What Comfort Means
A. To call to one’s side, to summon for the purpose of consolation
B. To console, encourage, strengthen by speaking, instructing, and teaching
- When Comfort is Needed
A. When we face the unknown
B. When we are uncertain
C. When we are sorrowful
D. When we forget our future
- What Brings Comfort
A. Faith – “if we believe” (vs14)
B. Truth – “by the word of the Lord” (vs15)
C. Believers – “I would not have you” (vs13) “this we say” (vs15)
D. Willingness – “comfort one another” (vs18)
Verse 18 is a command of responsibility given to the reader. Each one
of us should be willing to be used by God to bring comfort to others.
All of us have suffered loss. All of us have experienced uncertainty, confusion, dread, and loneliness. All of us have been encouraged and comforted by someone else in the family of God when we were at our lowest. All of us are responsible to be a source of strength, comfort, and encouragement to someone else who needs it. In order to fulfill our responsibility given to us by God in this verse, we must get in the Word ourselves. We must allow God to comfort us so that we may then comfort others. When you look at the first definition of comfort, notice how active it is. Be active in your impact on the body of Christ. Here is where comfort can be found – God’s Word. I need it, you need it, the world needs it. We need Jesus. Give others the message of comfort from God’s Word. Trust me, I’m desperate for it. And if you’re honest, I think you are too.
photo credit: Debbie Grose painting