Trust in Jehovah, “the God of All Comfort”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort.”—2 CORINTHIANS 1:3.
1. What does everyone need?
FROM the time we are born, we need comfort. A baby cries to let us know when it needs comfort. Perhaps it wants someone to hold it or it is hungry. Even when we are older, we often need someone to comfort us. This happens especially when we are in difficult situations.
2. What promise does Jehovah give to those who trust in him?
2 Our family and friends can give us some comfort. But they cannot help us in all situations that make us suffer. There are times when only God can give us comfort. His Word promises us: “Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, . . . and their cry for help he will hear.” (Psalm 145:18, 19) The Bible also says that “the eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their cry for help.” (Psalm 34:15) But if we want God to comfort us, we must trust in him. David said: “Jehovah will become a secure height for anyone crushed, a secure height in times of distress. And those knowing your name will trust in you, for you will certainly not leave those looking for you, O Jehovah.”—Psalm 9:9, 10.
3. What did Jesus say to help us understand how much Jehovah loves us?
3 Jehovah’s worshippers are precious to him. Jesus said: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6, 7) Jehovah told the Israelites: “With a love to time indefinite I have loved you. That is why I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”—Jeremiah 31:3.
4. Why can we trust in Jehovah’s promises?
4 If we trust in Jehovah and his promises, we can have comfort in times of suffering. We should have the same trust in God that Joshua had. He said: “Not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.” (Joshua 23:14) And we can be sure that even if we are suffering because of difficult situations now, “God is faithful” and will never leave his loyal servants.—Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
5. Why are we able to comfort others?
5 The apostle Paul calls Jehovah “the God of all comfort.” “To comfort” means to bring peace or relief to someone who is suffering. It means to relieve someone’s sadness. Jehovah certainly does this. (Read 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.) Our heavenly Father is not limited by anything or anyone. So he can do whatever is needed to comfort those who love him. Because we have been comforted by God, we are able to comfort our brothers “in any sort of tribulation.” No one can comfort us better than Jehovah can!
THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING
6. What are some of the causes of suffering?
6 We need comfort in many situations in life. One of the greatest causes of suffering is the death of someone we love, especially a husband, a wife, or a child. Others may need comfort because they have suffered as a result of prejudice. Also, bad health, old age, poverty, problems between husband and wife, and wickedness in the world can make us suffer.
7. (a) In times of trouble, what do we need? (b) What can Jehovah do to heal a “broken and crushed” heart?
7 In times of trouble, we suffer in many ways. We need comfort because our heart, our mind, our emotions, our health, and even our faith may suffer. For example, think about the heart. God’s Word says that our heart can be “broken and crushed.” (Psalm 51:17) Jehovah can certainly help us in this situation. He “is healing the brokenhearted ones, and is binding up their painful spots.” (Psalm 147:3) Even in very difficult situations, God can bring relief to our troubled heart if we pray to him, have faith in him, and obey his commandments.—Read 1 John 3:19-22; 5:14, 15.
8. How can Jehovah help us when our mind needs comfort?
8 Because we experience different kinds of trials, our mind sometimes needs comfort. We need help when we have these tests. The writer of Psalm 94:19 said: “When my disquieting thoughts became many inside of me, your own consolations began to fondle my soul.” Also, Paul wrote: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) When our mind needs comfort, we need to read the Bible and think deeply about what it says. This will give us great comfort.—2 Timothy 3:15-17.
9. What can help us when we have negative emotions?
9 Sometimes, we may become so discouraged that we feel full of negative emotions. Perhaps we think that we cannot do something that according to the Bible is our responsibility or that we cannot care for an assignment in the congregation. In this situation too, Jehovah can comfort and help us. For example: When Jehovah told Joshua to lead the Israelites against powerful enemy nations, Moses told the people: “Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid or suffer a shock before them, because Jehovah your God is the one marching with you. He will neither desert you nor leave you entirely.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) With Jehovah’s help, Joshua was able to lead God’s people into the Promised Land and to conquer all their enemies. Moses had received the same kind of help from Jehovah at the Red Sea.—Exodus 14:13, 14, 29-31.
10. If bad situations affect our health, what can help us?
10 Bad situations can affect our health. Of course, it helps when we eat right, get enough rest, exercise regularly, and keep our home and body clean. Also, if we think about what the Bible says about the future, that may help our health. So when we are suffering because of a trial or problem, it is helpful to remember that Paul too suffered and to think of his encouraging words: “We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; we are persecuted, but not left in the lurch; we are thrown down, but not destroyed.”—2 Corinthians 4:8, 9.
11. What can we do if we feel that our faith is getting weak?
11 Some trials can affect our faith. Jehovah can help us with this too. His Word promises us: “Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, and is raising up all who are bowed down.” (Psalm 145:14) If we feel that our faith is getting weak, we should ask for the help of the elders. (James 5:14, 15) And constantly thinking of our hope of everlasting life can give us strength during tests of our faith.—John 17:3.
EXAMPLES OF COMFORT FROM GOD
12. How did Jehovah comfort Abraham?
12 The writer of Psalm 119 said to Jehovah: “Remember the word to your servant, for which you have made me wait. This is my comfort in my affliction, for your own saying has preserved me alive.” (Psalm 119:49, 50) Today, we have Jehovah’s written Word, the Bible, which has many examples of how God gave comfort to his servants. For example, Abraham was very worried when he heard that Jehovah was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He asked God: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” Jehovah comforted Abraham by promising him not to destroy Sodom if there were 50 righteous people in it. But Abraham asked Jehovah five more times: What if there are only 45 righteous people? 40? 30? 20? 10? Jehovah patiently and kindly promised Abraham that the city would not be destroyed even if there were only ten righteous people there. Even though there were not even ten righteous people there, Jehovah saved the lives of Lot and his daughters.—Genesis 18:22-32; 19:15, 16, 26.
13. How did Hannah show that she trusted in Jehovah?
13 Elkanah’s wife Hannah really wanted to have a child. But she was not able to have children, and this upset her. She prayed to Jehovah about this, and High Priest Eli said to her: “May the God of Israel grant your petition.” This comforted Hannah, “and her face became self-concerned no more.” (1 Samuel 1:8, 17, 18) Hannah trusted that Jehovah would take care of the problem for her. Even though she did not know what would happen, she had inner peace. In time, Jehovah answered her prayer. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel.—1 Samuel 1:20.
14. Why did David need comfort? Whom did he ask for comfort?
14 Another example of someone who was comforted by God is King David. Jehovah “sees what the heart is.” So when he chose David to be king of Israel, he knew that David wanted to do what was right and that he loved true worship. (1 Samuel 16:7; 2 Samuel 5:10) But later, David committed adultery with Bath-sheba and tried to hide this sin from others by having her husband killed. When David was helped to understand how serious his sin really was, he prayed to Jehovah: “According to the abundance of your mercies wipe out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash me from my error, and cleanse me even from my sin. For my transgressions I myself know, and my sin is in front of me constantly.” (Psalm 51:1-3) David truly repented of his sin, and Jehovah forgave him. But David still had to suffer the results of what he did. (2 Samuel 12:9-12) But Jehovah’s mercy comforted David.
15. What help did Jehovah give Jesus just before his death?
15 When on earth, Jesus experienced many difficult situations. God permitted these tests, but Jesus was always faithful. He was a perfect man who always trusted in Jehovah and obeyed him as Ruler. Just before he was betrayed and killed, Jesus prayed to Jehovah: “Let, not my will, but yours take place.” An angel then appeared to Jesus and strengthened him. (Luke 22:42, 43) God gave Jesus the comfort, strength, and help he needed at that time.
16. How can Jehovah help us if our life is in danger because of our faith?
16 Jehovah can and will help us to be faithful to him even if our life is in danger because of our faith. We are also comforted by the hope of the resurrection. And how we hope for the day when the last enemy, death, “is to be brought to nothing”! (1 Corinthians 15:26) Jehovah’s loyal servants who have died, along with others who have died, are in his memory. Jehovah’s memory cannot fail. He will resurrect them. (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15) Our faith in the resurrection promise gives us comfort and strong hope during times of persecution.
17. How can Jehovah comfort us when someone we love dies?
17 It is so comforting to know that our loved ones who have died will be resurrected to life in a wonderful new world. There will be no more causes of suffering. And it will be an honor for the “great crowd” of Jehovah’s servants who survive the end of this system to welcome and teach those who are resurrected!—Revelation 7:9, 10.
UNDERNEATH ARE GOD’S ETERNAL ARMS
18, 19. How has God comforted his servants when they were being persecuted?
18 Moses wrote a strengthening and comforting song to the people of Israel. In this song, he said: “A hiding place is the God of ancient time, and underneath are the indefinitely lasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27) The prophet Samuel later told the Israelites: “Do not turn aside from following Jehovah, and you must serve Jehovah with all your heart. . . . Jehovah will not desert his people for the sake of his great name.” (1 Samuel 12:20-22) As long as we serve Jehovah faithfully, he will never leave us. He will always give us the help we need.
19 God is giving help and comfort to his people in these critical last days. In modern times, many of our brothers around the world have been persecuted and put in prison just because they served Jehovah. Their experiences prove that Jehovah really comforts his servants in times of trial. For example, one of our brothers in the Soviet Union was sentenced to 23 years in prison because of his faith. But even in prison, he still received Bible literature that strengthened and comforted him. He said: “During all those years, I learned to trust in Jehovah and received strength from him.”—Read 1 Peter 5:6, 7.
20. Why can we be sure that Jehovah will not abandon us?
20 No matter what may happen to us in the future, it will be good for us to remember the comforting words: “Jehovah will not forsake his people.” (Psalm 94:14) Even though we personally need comfort, we can also comfort others. In the next article, we will learn how we can comfort those who suffer in this troubled world.
SOME WORDS EXPLAINED
▪ Prejudice: Unfair or unjust treatment
▪ Trial: Suffering, tribulation, a difficult situation that tests a person’s faith
▪ Negative emotions: Feelings such as fear, anxiety, or discouragement
WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
▪ What are some things that can cause us suffering?
▪ How does Jehovah comfort his servants?
▪ If our life is in danger, what can comfort us?
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No one can comfort us better than Jehovah can!
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We can get comfort from God if we pray to him and have faith in him
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When your mind needs comfort, think deeply about the Scriptures
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HOW TO COPE WITH THINGS THAT COULD AFFECT OUR . . .
▪ health 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9