God wants us to be comforted.
The scriptures discuss it over and over. In 2 Corinthians 1:2, Paul calls God the “God of all comfort.” In Colossians 2:1-2, Paul wanted the people of that division-torn city to be comforted, or encouraged, as one translation renders its meaning. Jesus promised his disciples a “comforter,” (John 14:16, 26).
Comfort means different things to different people. While writing this article, I’m in an airplane at 34,000 feet and the air is a little bumpy. I’d rather be on the ground, where I’m a little more comfortable. My wife’s idea of comfort is sitting curled up on a couch. If it’s winter, she’d also be more comfortable sitting in front of a roaring fire.
When the Bible’s writers talk about comfort, they use a word that means “to call to the side of.” For example, the same word used in Colossians 2:2 is used in 1 John 2:1-2, which says, “My little children, I write unto you that you sin not, but if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” The word “advocate” is this same word as “comfort” or “comforter” as used in these other references.
As our advocate, Jesus Christ is called to our side to represent us, much as a lawyer is called to our side to help us. But the word “advocate” is stronger than that. It also carries with it the idea that with Christ, we are “brave together.” Here’s where the comfort comes.
Were we to stand naked and alone before God, we wouldn’t have very much confidence in ourselves. As sinners, we are convicted of transgressing God’s law. That transgression brings with it a lack of confidence in standing before a perfect being.
But, because our Lord shed his blood to cleanse us from sin, we have been freed from sin and live for Him who gave himself for us. Being thus redeemed, we have an advocate. Any further transgression is resolved by His blood (1 John 1:7). Of course, we must continue to walk in the light. If not, we can still be lost in sin.
Because our Lord shed his blood to redeem us, he stands beside us and owns us. His standing beside us is a great comfort because we know he understands what it’s like to be human and can sympathize with us in our weakness.
Now, we can stand “brave together” with our Lord. It is this confidence the Hebrew writer speaks about in Hebrews 10:35, which says, “Cast not away your confidence which hath great recompense of reward.” The writer thus is encouraging his readers to stand bravely together with Christ, not casting him aside.
And so we should stand with our comfort, Jesus, our confidence, our advocate