Posted by: SandreS | July 16, 2009

Divine Comfort and Consolation in Suffering

Life is an ever recurring series of struggles, disappointments, sadness, sufferings and heartbreaks. Yet it is in our brokenness that God chooses to manifest His divine comfort for, indeed, our Father is the “God of all comfort.”

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort (II Corinthians 1:3).

… The God of patience and consolation (Romans 15:5).

Both of the words “comfort” (II Corinthinas1:3) and “consolation” (Romans 15:5) in the King James Version are translated from the same Greek word paraklesis. It is a compound word from the roots para meaning “beside,” and kaleo meaning “call.” Thus the Concordant Keyword Concordance gives us the meaning as “beside-calling,” which is confirmed by others:

A calling near, a summons to one’s side – E.W. Bullinger, Critical Lexicon

A calling to one’s side – W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary

Noah Webster gives the etymology of our English word “console” as,

To give rest or quiet, or the sense is to strengthen, in which case it coincides with the root of solid.

He goes on to define the word as,

To comfort; to cheer the mind in distress or depression; to alleviate grief, and give refreshment to the mind or spirits; to give contentment … American Dictionary of the English Language (1828)

The Father has called us beside Himself, so that we may find true comfort. What better place than at the Father’s side to find consoling? For He Who is the “God of all comfort [consolation] is the only source of divine “solace” (James Strong, Greek Lexicon).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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