Throughout my travels, I’ve often found myself in unfamiliar territories, places, and cities. I’ve stepped out of a public bus or the metro line and not recognized a single building or been able to read a single sign. Ironically, in the adulting struggle, life often feels similar.
What do you do when you find yourself in an unfamiliar place or situation? How do you find comfort in something that’s so uncomfortable? With the situations life throws at us, we must know how to find comfort in God and understand how he comforts us in the chaos. Whether we face suffering, sorrow, or grief, the God of All Comfort is there to hold us.
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The God of All Comfort
When I rely on myself for comfort, I’m like the house built on sand. I easily topple in the storm. But if I fix my eyes on God, things change.
I focus on studying God’s word, understanding about his character, and learning more about how he works. Then when I find myself in need of comfort, I go immediately to the source of the comfort: the God of All Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).
One of my favorite things to do with the students I teach on Sundays is talk about God’s character. We read passages of the Bible together and then brainstorm what the passage says about who God is. One passage we dug into recently was Isaiah 40.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”Isaiah 40:28-29 (ESV)
Everlasting. Creator. Does not faint. Never Weary. Gives power. Increases Strength. By meditating on these characteristics of God, we are comforted because we can be confident in God’s character. No matter the circumstances, we know that God is unchanging and faithful (Hebrews 11:8).
How to Find Comfort in God
Not only that, God comforts us because of his promise to never leave us.
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”Joshua 1:5
The everlasting Creator does not faint. He gives power to the weak is always with us. In choosing to believe this and have faith even in chaotic or unfavorable situations is how we find comfort in God.
How God Comforts us in Sorrow
After my grandmother’s death last year, I wanted to find comfort in God in my sorrow. But I didn’t know how. I felt lonely and like no one could understand my grief. Though wanting to reach out to God, I was also discouraged since my prayers appeared to be unanswered.
Sorrow and grief are strong emotions that push us to reach out for comfort. However, it’s in those situations where find comforting in God seems hopeless.
When we’re upset, grieving, and possibly angry, the God of all Comfort feels so far from us. Just the opposite is true. God wants to comfort us in our sorrow, and as we grieve, He is grieving as well.
What scriptures emphasize God’s comfort and compassion for the hurting and brokenhearted?
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalm 18:6
Knowing that God is close to us as we grieve gives us comfort. We also know that he hears our prayers, even though he may not answer them the way we hoped. Part of faith is believing in God’s good character although circumstances may say the opposite.
How does God comfort the brokenhearted?
God also comforts us when we are brokenhearted by promising to bring us out of our sorrow. In Lamentations 3, we are reminded that God’s mercies are new every day. Even when things look bleak, God has promised joy will come in the morning. (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Other promises from the Bible show how God comforts us, too. Not only is he with us through our mourning, but he works to revive our spirit.
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”Isaiah 57:15
How God Comforts us in the midst of Suffering
Since suffering takes many different forms, it’s hard to define. Being laid off from work? Being stuck in a toxic work environment? Receiving a tough medical diagnosis? Being separated from friends and family for an extended period of time?
I’ve experienced a lot of these situations over the past year, and in each one, it’s been hard for me to feel God’s presence and find his goodness. So, how does God comfort us in the midst of suffering?
First, it’s important to acknowledge that God sees our suffering, and he can sympathize with us. Because Jesus Christ came to earth to dwell with us, he experienced all the human suffering that we have experienced, are experiencing, and will experience.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”Hebrews 4:14-16
Finding comfort in Pain
To find comfort in pain, we also hold on to the promises that our suffering isn’t without purpose.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”James 1:2-4
This passage in James is one of my anchor passages when I am suffering. It reminds me that faith that is not tested is faith that cannot stand. This means that our faith must be put in the fire, ironed, and sharpened so it can be strong and unshakeable in Christ.
God’s plan for us is much bigger than what we are going through at this moment. Remember that we are eternal beings, so we must look at things with eternal eyes. We find comfort in God when we acknowledge and believe what he says about our suffering: it leads to future glory.
How does the Holy Spirit comfort us?
The Holy Spirit is God within us, sealing us as children of God (Ephesians 1:13). He is also our helper, whom God sent to us after Jesus left Earth.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”John 14:26
In the Amplified version of John 14:26, the Holy Spirit is also referred to as “Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby.” To think that he lives inside each Christian doing all these jobs! No wonder the power of the Holy Spirit is so vital to living a Christian life.
As John 14:26 says, the Holy Spirit also comforts us by:
- Interceding – praying for us when we don’t know what to say (Romans 8:26)
- Bringing God’s Presence – filling us with God’s presence and peace (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Counseling – reminding us of God’s promises and God’s word (John 14:26)
- Giving Us Understanding – giving us spiritual eyes. The Holy Spirit helps us discern the will of God and make sense of the events happening around us (Romans 12:2)
- Securing Us – sealing us as a child of God. We feel safe when things around us are chaotic because we are assured of our standing with God (Ephesians 1:13)
Related: 5 Ways to Overcome Fear with Faith
How can God be our source of comfort?
I originally wrote this post during coronavirus. I was feeling hopeless, separated from friends and family and unable to do anything to improve the situation. But through that hard time, I decided to draw near to God instead of pulling away in anger and sorrow. I brought those feelings to the God of all comfort so that I could find comfort in him.
How do you find comfort in God?
God wants to be our source of comfort. He’s given us the Holy Spirit inside of us to be our Comforter and mark us as a child of God. We can be secure in God’s love for us since he’s “sealed” us as his children.
In addition, God has given us his son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice and payment for our sins. In Romans, Paul writes:
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8
We are comforted by knowing that the same God that sent Christ for us while we were still sinners is the same God that watches over us now. Ultimately, we are comforted because we know the One who is in control of this storm.
God has already given us his son, and that becomes our stronghold and promise that God is with us.
What are good scriptures for comfort?
The Bible is also a huge source of comfort for Christians. In the chaos of life, it’s easy to shift our focus to our circumstances, ourselves, other people, or material things. But Scripture always reframes our perspective by reminding us of who God is.
Suffering is a part of life because we live in a world with sin. But that’s not the end of the story.
2 Corinthians 1:5 says, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Scripture reminds us that our stories are greater than here and now. Once Jesus redeemed us from the cross, we became part of Jesus’s victorious story. Thus, we share in his comfort, knowing that our sufferings and our sorrow will be replaced with endless joy when we are at home with him.
“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”1 Peter 4:13
In the midst of suffering and chaos, here are more Bible verses to help you find comfort in God.
Bible Verses for Comfort in Hard Times
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
- Job 6:11 – “This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.”
- Psalm 119:49-50 – “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”
- Isaiah 51:12-13a – “’I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass,and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.’”
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 – “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
- 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 – “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within.But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”
- Matthew 5:4,10 – “’Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted… Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’”
Bible Verses for Comfort and Strength
- Psalm 20 – “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!” (Verse 1, see the whole psalm for Bible verses of comfort and strength.)
- Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (*from my grandma’s favorite psalm <3)
- Psalm 71:20-21 – “You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.”
- Psalms 86:16-17 – “Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant.Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
- Psalm 119:51-52 – “The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O Lord.”
- Psalm 119:75-77 – “I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.”
Bible Verses about Sorrow into Joy
- Isaiah 51:3 – “For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
- Isaiah 49:13 – “Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.”
- Jeremiah 31:13 – “Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”
- Isaiah 66:13-14 – “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.”
- Isaiah 61: 1-2 – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.”
- Lamentations 3:22-24 – “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
May God Comfort You
God comfort us by the solid, unchanging nature of his character and his promises. With the word of God as our anchor through suffering and sorrow, we can find comfort in God. This doesn’t mean we will understand why we’re going through this hard time. Nor does it mean that we’ll ever get an explanation.
But we know that God is in control and His sovereign will is coming to pass. Through the Holy Spirit, we are sealed as children of God for eternity. All of these truths bring us great comfort in times of need.
Lastly, God uses others to comfort us.
How can we comfort others?
After my grandmother passed away, I had a Christian friend who came over to my apartment to visit. She did nothing but sit next to me on the porch while I cried and listened to me as I poured out my heartache.
Oftentimes we think we have to have the right words to say or a magic formula to give someone comfort. Au contraire. As Christians, we can comfort others simply by being there for them, listening, and reminding them of God’s promises.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”2 Corinthians 13:11
If you’re far from a friend who is in need of comfort, you could also send a thoughtful card from Dayspring or send them a gift card for a meal. When we’re overwhelmed, we are comforted knowing that someone else is thinking of us and praying for us. Having a meal ready gives us one less thing to worry about.
There are many other ways to show God’s love to someone. But praying for them and sharing with them how to find comfort in God is always a great start. May God comfort us all.
What’s your favorite Bible verse for comfort?
Leave me a comment below!
Leave me a comment below!
While You’re Here…More posts about Growing in Faith:
- 5 Strategies to Remove Fear from Mind and Heart (+free prayer printable)
- 50 Encouraging Scriptures for Times of Trouble – Bible Emergency Numbers
- Lessons and Stories to Unlock the Power of Prayer
- Do you believe God’s Will is Sovereign?
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