II Corinthians 1:3-11 is a deep well where God’s comforting can be observed in action. Before I understood the things I worked through in my journaling, I was frustrated by this passage because even though the word “comfort” is repeated several times in the text, I wasn’t actually “comforted” one bit even though I accepted everything in it. This post is from the journaling I did as I tried to understand more clearly what God meant by “comfort” or “comforting.” It turned out that I was thinking, wrongly, that comfort was a gift-wrapped thing that was handed to me. It is not an isolated gift. It is a result of other things. Comfort is the shadow cast by a big tree–gotta grow the tree to get the shade.
Comfort~~occurs after an individual stops reacting to something that has taken a damaging toll, and instead lays hold of something that has greater weight and greater truth. Comfort is the result and the byproduct of what God does for us. It is not just a dis-embodied sense of well-being that drugs us against pain and dis-ease.
The candidate for comfort is the person who has suffered loss of some kind, and needs restoration and recovery. One who has been comforted is able to resume tasks and life and productive, effective thinking. Their reference point moves from despair to hope, from confusion to purpose.
Comfort is for a purpose: “…so that we may be able to comfort…..”
Comfort is recyclable: “….able to comfort with the comfort with which we are comforted.”
What God is is accurately expressed in what He does and what He gives. In His consistency with Himself, having us receive comfort and being comforted has as high a priority as training us, saving us, redeeming us at last.
as is redeeming or training.
One of The Poems gives a word picture describing two things: the time when comfort is needed, and the box that God-wrought comfort arrives in. It arrives in a truthbox. https://mailboxesandoldbarns.com/2011/03/16/lord-when-i-need-comfort/
Encouragement and comfort are both intangibles. In many cases, the words seem to be almost interchangeable when you compare various translations of the Scriptures.
Since they are intangibles, they do not spring so much from information as they do from a particular kind of mindset and from integrity. If either a willingness to comfort and a willingness to be comforted is absent, comfort will not occur.