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August 7, 2013

Our Comforter

The word comfort in the Greek literally means to strengthen by being with, and that’s what God does for us.

You remember in the Book of Job we get the behind-the-scenes glimpse of the conversation between God and Satan as God allows Satan to test Job. Then, after he goes through all this suffering, his “believer friends” come over to encourage him, to comfort him, and they say, “Job, why are you questioning God? Why are you asking all these questions? Job, don’t you know that you need to live a more righteous life and God wouldn’t bring these things on you? God knows what He is doing, Job. God is a great, loving God. He is a righteous God and He punishes the wicked, Job. He knows what He’s doing so stop questioning God.” They said a lot of things that were true, but they weren’t very comforting. They said a lot of things that were true, but there was no love and no compassion, so God struck them down with a skin disease and said, “I’ll heal you if Job prays for you.” The interesting thing is, even though God steps in here, He never lets Job know the reason for his own suffering. We get to know why because at this point in time we see the big picture. However, God did bring comfort and restoration and provision to Job’s life as he cried out to God in his pain.

Jeremiah 8:17-19 says, “You who are my comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.”