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 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ESV
The word comfort is defined as “giving solace or consolation, soothe from pain.” In some cases, it is also defined as encouragement. The Greek word for comfort is paraklesis. The Holy Spirit is our paraclete because he comforts us (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is also our helper and enabler. He encourages us to press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
The ministry of comfort is essential for the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of believers. In as much as the Holy Spirit comforts us, we need to comfort one another. That ministry of comfort is all the more essential as our world struggles with COVID-19. People are seemingly dying at an alarming rate, and their loved ones are not able to say a proper goodbye. Some people have no one to comfort them as they are forced to stay at home.
Customarily the prayer of comfort is offered during a home going celebration. However, in light of the crisis that is vexing the people of the world, we need to pray a prayer of comfort more readily. I read this morning that 3054 people died in New York State in one day. More than 20 million Americans are unemployed. As the catastrophe from this pandemic continues to worsen, we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort us now more than ever.
My cousin lost her dad last month, and she was denied the opportunity even to see a picture of him. Others cannot even find a funeral home to take care of their deceased loved ones. Some people are grieving while struggling with coronavirus themselves. Let us not forget those who are in the front line in the fight against COVID-19. These people need our prayer of comfort.
We need the Holy Spirit to comfort the hearts of the brokenhearted. Less we forget that it is through you and me that the Holy Spirit will do his comforting work. The Holy Spirit will give people comfort and good hope through our words and work of comfort. We cannot be neglectful in our ministry of comfort.
Every morning the Holy Spirit reveals a list of people he wants me to call to pray for their comfort. And after each conversation and prayer with these people, they individually tell me how they needed comfort. That lets me know that God was answering their prayer for comfort through me.
As the death angel passes through the land, we need to pray for the comfort of the people of the world. Let us, therefore, pray for the comfort of the elderly in nursing homes, so they are protected from coronavirus. We should pray for the comfort of first responders, grocery store workers, and many others whose circumstances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
During this season of anxiety and terror, I really appreciate Jesus’s promise in John 14:14-16. IT lets me know we are not alone. God’s comforting presence is with us. He has dispatched angels throughout the four corners of the planet to comfort the people of the world. You and I can be one of those angels to comfort the people in our circle of influence. Our ministry of comfort is all the more vital for the sustainability of the peace of God in the heart of many people.
Therefore, allow me to encourage you to pick up your phone and make at least four calls today to comfort others. Perhaps your phone call may be the right medicine for a wounded heart. Or, you might just be the person to comfort someone who feels totally defeated by the vicissitudes of life.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit as our comforter. Please use us this day to comfort others who are struggling with COVID-19 and its consequences, in Jesus’ name.