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Whenever we are troubled, in trials, or experiencing loss, we seek God to find comfort, strength, and peace. Matthew 5:4 says: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Comforted by whom? Comforted by God, He is the source of complete comfort. "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." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. When we read the word "comfort" here, we think of the basic dictionary definition: a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. But do we understand the depth of God's comfort?


The other day, I read in a devotional about the history of the word "comfort." It amazed me to learn how the term comfort reveals how God works amidst our pain and sorrow. When you hear the word comfort, what do you think of? You probably think of something smooth, like a cozy chair, a fuzzy blanket, a pair of sneakers, and a warm plate of food, among other things. When reading the story of this word's origin, I learned that the term comfort comes from two Latin components: com, which means "together with," and fortis, "which means strong or strength. Later, the Latin word "comfortare" came to mean "to strengthen much." eventually the French word "conforter," added the words solace and help to the definition. But by the 17th century, the English version of the word suggests the meaning we all know today, a sense of ease. Wow, this word went from meaning "together-strength, to meaning pain-barrier. If we take both definitions, we can explain God's comfort amid our trials and sorrows. 


The first definition of together strong, beautifully describes our relationship with God amid trials and pain because even when we don't notice, He is always with us, more so when we are in trials. He is the one who gives us strength. We find the strength to overcome sorrow and trials through Him. The definition of pain barriers also applies because God is that barrier. His peace that surpasses all understanding helps us find solace amid any circumstance. These definitions give us a deep understanding of how important it is to ask Him for his comfort. The meaning of comfort in the verses I shared in the introduction is more than a momentary relief from pain; it also involves strengthening and encouragement to continue. God's comfort empowers us to persevere. When we experience His comfort, He equips us to extend that comfort to others in need. May we all find peace in His comforting embrace and share His love with those around us. 


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