1. In this verse we read about: a. 4 responsibilities that the Lord has given to His people -- to "be perfect," to "be of good comfort," to "be of one mind," and to "live in peace" b. a special blessing available to those who fulfill these responsibilities -- "the God of love and peace shall be with you." 2. In our lesson we are studying the 2nd responsibility -- to "be of good comfort." 3. We have been reminded several times lately that there is "a time to weep" and "a time to mourn" as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:4. 4. We are blessed that comfort is available when we mourn (Matthew 5:4). 5. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. GOD IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF COMFORT
A. We learn this from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. B. Also, consider several statements that David made in Psalm 145 about God's goodness. 1. See vs.8, vs.9, vs.14, vs.18, vs.19, and vs.20a. 2. Comfort from God is not specifically mentioned, but it is certainly implied. C. The next point we need to make is that . . .
II. GOD PROVIDES COMFORT IN VARIOUS WAYS
A. God sent Jesus to provide comfort (Luke 4:16-19; Isaiah 61:1-2). B. God provides comfort through His Word (Romans 15:4). C. God provides comfort through His rod and staff (Psalm 23:4). D. God provides comfort through family members (Job 42:11). E. God provides comfort through friends (John 11:19). F. God provides comfort through good news (Proverbs 25:25; 2 Corinthians 7:5-7). G. In addition to providing comfort in various ways, . . .
III. GOD HAS GIVEN HIS PEOPLE CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITIES THAT RELATE TO COMFORT
A. We must allow ourselves to be comforted. 1. When Jacob thought that Joseph had died, he "refused to be comforted" (Genesis 37:34-35). 2. Each person mourns differently; however, God wants His people to "be of good comfort" (2 Corinthians 13:11). B. God wants His people to provide comfort to others. 1. 2 Corinthians 1:4 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11 C. Good judgment must be used when comforting others. 1. We learn from Job 2:11 that Job's 3 friends visited him "to mourn with him and to comfort him." 2. Unfortunately, they turned out to be "miserable comforters" (Job 16:1-2).
1. While we live on earth we will occasionally need comfort -- let us remember the principles we have studied. 2. Also, we will occasionally have opportunities to comfort friends and loved ones -- let us remember the instructions we have studied. 3. Let us make preparations to spend eternity in heaven where the things that cause us to need comfort will no longer exist (Revelation 21:4).