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 will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

In times of stress, pain, sickness, and loss, all we really want is comfort. When something that we value or love is taken from us—be it health, a job, a loved one, or anything else—we want to be met with comfort and care. Just as a child who gets hurt wants the care and affection of his or her mom or dad, we need the soothing voice and calming touch of our heavenly Father in moments of grief and pain.

Thanks be to God that our heavenly Father is not far off or uncaring. These words from Paul to the Corinthians remind us of a few very important truths of who God is: He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. These attributes of God may not be at the top of our list of things we need to be true of God, until we are desperate. We always want the God of all power and knowledge. We want the God who can move mountains and make all things possible. But it usually takes walking through the valley to discover that, more than answers and solutions, we need a God who comforts us. We need a God who can pick us up, brush us off, and calm us down with His peace and presence. Only after He comforts us are we able to offer that comfort to those around us. Not solutions to problems, just comfort in the midst of pain.

Not only does God comfort us, but He offers us His mercy. Because God is the Father of mercies, we can echo the writer of Lamentations who proclaims that His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). What hope we have knowing that His mercy is not going to run out on us. It will be renewed with each new day. So whatever pain, grief, or hardship each day brings, there will be mercy from a good and gracious God who meets us in the midst of it.

● Where do you most need the comfort that only God can offer? How does Scripture remind you of the truth of who He is and how He is with you in this season?

● Is there someone in your life with whom you need to share God’s comfort? How can you do that this week?

● Thank God for His comfort and mercy and how you have experienced that in your life. If you find yourself in need in this season, ask God to meet you quickly with the comfort of His presence.