As I write this article, I am ministering to the friends and loved ones of two young men who died unexpectedly. A 39-year-old had suffered a heart attack and a 19-year-old was killed in an industrial accident. Both were Christians and members of warm, loving families.
What do I say to bring comfort? Do I quote Bible verses? Do I try to analyze and explain the ways of God’s providence? No. Deeply grieving people are in no state of mind for pious platitudes or explanations. I serve them best by showing that I care, by praying for them, and by assuring them of God’s comfort.
Jesus told His troubled disciples that after His departure He would send the Holy Spirit to be their Comforter (Jn. 14:26). The peace that Jesus gives to us comes through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if we want to bring comfort to others, we must have an intimate relationship with the Lord and experience His comfort. Then, by our practical deeds and our quiet presence we can show those who are sorrowing that we care. We can also pray that they will sense the comforting ministry of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
God wants us to be channels of His comfort to sorrowing and hurting people.
The comfort God has given us
He wants us now to share
With others who are suffering
And caught in life's despair. —Sper
God comforts us to make us comforters, not to make us comfortable.