A medicine essential for our spiritual health and happiness!
"I, even I, am He who comforts you!" Isaiah 51:12
How does God comfort us? Suppose you are in some great trouble — how will God comfort you?
God comforts us by showing us the necessity of that trouble. Do you ever think of this — that there is NO CHANCE? Not a pang can pierce the heart of His redeemed child, for which there is not a needs-be!
Not an ache can gnaw the frame;
not a grief can pierce the heart;
not a shadow can darken the soul —
which is not permitted because there was a needs-be!
It is comfort to know that no affliction is random, that no bereavement is accident — but that each is sent because it was a medicine essential for our spiritual health and happiness. Thus God comforts us.
God comforts us in affliction, by revealing to us what is the source of trouble. We are told that not a trouble can befall us that has not been first in God's bosom; that not a tear can start in the eye that He has not first planned, and estimated, and weighed, and pronounced to be expedient for us.
Admit for one moment, that CHANCE is the parent of your troubles — that accident is the author of your bereavements — and what a gloomy place must this world be! What a sad heart must the mourner's be! What an unhappy man must the victim of trouble be! But when we know that the blow that strikes the heaviest, is from our Father's hand; that the sorrow that pierces the heart with the keenest agony, lay in His bosom before it received its mission to touch us — then surely it is a truth, "I, even I, am He who comforts you!"
God comforts us by showing us the end of that trouble. If the sorrows, bereavements, disappointments, griefs, secret and open, had no end, and no grand object, and no great purpose to accomplish — then they would be intolerable. But He tells us, "Though no tribulation for the present seems joyous, but grievous — yet afterwards it works out the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby." He tells us that "Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding, even an eternal weight of glory." "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
And therefore the necessity, the source, and the end of our troubles, revealed to us by God — take away the edge of them, and make at least tolerable that which, if inexplicable, would be altogether intolerable.
Lastly, He will comfort us by delivering us from all our troubles, and introducing us into a glorious rest — more bright and beautiful than eye has seen, or ear has heard, or man's heart in its happiest imaginings has ever conceived!