Who Does Not Need Comfort?
AT ONE time or another, we sorely need comfort and encouragement. This is because there are so many things in life that can bring sadness.
Parents may work hard and try to provide well for their children. But as sons and daughters get older, they may become rebellious and cause untold grief and worry for their father and mother.
At his place of employment, a man may become the object of misrepresentation or injustice. Despite his honesty and diligence, he may not be promoted because his conscience does not allow him to play politics. Incompetent persons may even tell him how to do his job. The man may dread going to work, finding it hard to put up with a multitude of irritations.
An active adult may be laid low by a debilitating disease or a crippling accident. No longer can the individual do the things that contributed greatly to his happiness. He may be forced to dull intense pains with powerful drugs.
And who of us has not experienced deep sadness over the death of a close friend or a relative? We may have felt totally helpless, lonely and depressed.
In such situations, where can we turn for comfort? It would indeed be encouraging to find a source that would tell us how others have dealt with these problems successfully and what sustained them during the time of their affliction. The Bible does just that. It provides a candid record regarding what befell certain individuals and how they endured these trials without becoming bitter.
We read of King David, whose son Amnon became guilty of incestuous rape and whose son Absalom became involved in murder and conspiracy for the throne. During his lifetime, David also endured scathing denunciation from his eldest brother, was forced to live as an outlaw for a number of years while being hunted like an animal by jealous King Saul, was repeatedly slandered, had a trusted counselor turn traitor, and became sick and feeble.
Wise King Solomon set forth the following hard facts of life: “The swift do not have the race, nor the mighty ones the battle, nor do the wise also have the food, nor do the understanding ones also have the riches, nor do even those having knowledge have the favor; because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” “I have seen servants on horses but princes walking on the earth just like servants.”—Eccl. 9:11; 10:7.
Of course, not all men and women who are mentioned in the Bible wrestled with the same problems. However, from the time that Abel’s life was violently cut short by his brother Cain, humans have known what it means to lose a loved one in death. Abraham bewailed the death of his beloved wife Sarah. (Gen. 23:2) When Jacob died, “Joseph threw himself on his father, crying and kissing his face.” (Gen. 50:1, Today’s English Version) David lamented his friend Jonathan’s death with the words: “I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan, very pleasant you were to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love from women.”—2 Sam. 1:26.
Despite bitter experiences and hardships, David, Naomi, Hannah, Abraham, Joseph and many others who are mentioned in the Bible did not become overwhelmed by feelings of sadness. Their confidence in God sustained them.