The apostle Paul describes Jehovah * as “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trials.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4) Thus the Bible assures us that no person is beyond God’s help and that no tragedy is so great that our heavenly Father cannot comfort us.
Of course, we must do something if we want comfort from God. How could a doctor help us if we never made an appointment to see him? The prophet Amos asks: “Will two walk together unless they have met by appointment?” (Amos 3:3, footnote) The Scriptures therefore urge us: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.
How can we be sure that God will draw close to us? First of all, because he tells us repeatedly that he wants to help us. (See the accompanying box.) And second, because we have convincing testimony from people whom God has comforted—real people, both from our time and the past.
Like many today who seek help from God, King David was all too familiar with tragedy. “Hear my pleas when I cry to you for help,” he once begged Jehovah. Did God respond? Yes. David added: “I have received his help, and my heart rejoices.”—Psalm 28:2, 7.
JESUS’ ROLE IN COMFORTING ALL WHO MOURN
God intended that Jesus have a key role in providing comfort. Among other tasks that God assigned him, Jesus was “to bind up the brokenhearted” and “comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1, 2) As foretold, Jesus took a special interest in people who were “toiling and loaded down.”—Matthew 11:28-30.
Jesus comforted people by giving them wise advice, by treating them kindly, and even, in some cases, by curing their sicknesses. One day a leper pleaded with Jesus: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus replied: “I want to! Be made clean.” (Mark 1:40, 41) And the leper was healed.
Today, the Son of God is not present on earth to comfort us personally. But his Father, Jehovah, “the God of all comfort,” continues to help those in need. (2 Corinthians 1:3) Consider four principal means that God uses to comfort people.
The Bible. “All the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.”—Romans 15:4.
God’s Holy Spirit. Not long after Jesus’ death, the whole Christian congregation entered into a period of peace. Why? “It walked in the fear of Jehovah and in the comfort of the holy spirit.” (Acts 9:31) The holy spirit, God’s active force, is very powerful. God can use it to comfort anyone in any circumstance.
Prayer. “Do not be anxious over anything,” the Bible advises us. Rather, it says, “let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”—Philippians 4:6, 7.
Fellow Christians can provide a comforting ‘safety net’ of true friends. The apostle Paul described his companions as “a source of great comfort” in times of “distress and tribulation.”—Colossians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:7.
But you may be wondering how all this works in practice. Let us take a closer look at the experiences of people who have faced the problems mentioned at the outset. Like them, you can discover that God still fulfills this heartwarming promise: “As a mother comforts her son, so I will keep comforting you.”—Isaiah 66:13.
^ par. 3 Jehovah is the name of God as revealed in the Bible.