It is not incidental that the word translated comfort in the first chapter of II Corinthians and the word translated exhort in Hebrews 12:5 are the same in the original. It is paraklesis, which means comforter or that which comforts.
At a time when I was struggling with the idea of how to “acquire comfort” it helped to finally realize that it is often exhortation which results in comfort and comfort is the result when the Word of God is applied by the Spirit of God, Who has perfectly discerned my need.
Then I realized that when I was in need of comfort, my thought ought not to be “Give me comfort, Lord” but rather, “Exhort me, Lord. Tell me what’s going on. Tell me where my thoughts are messed up. Tell me the truth, please.”
Lord, when I need comfort, the thing that helps the most is truth:
truth about hope that is legitimate;
truth about mercy that is personalized;
truth about purpose that doesn’t change;
truth about rest for the weary;
truth about forgiveness for my sin;
truth about strength for my weakness;
truth about grace for my life.
When I need comfort, the thing that helps the most is truth.