According to the Scriptures, every human being has an inherent understanding of what comfort is and learns to trust in God through comfort from a very early stage in their lives:
Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
Psalms 22:9-10 (NASB)
This is a creator’s touch, something He built into us. In these verses – written at a time of excruciating pain- David says that we learn to trust in the most intimate and comfortable of places and we, in our infant minds, ascribe that comfort to God.
Somehow people seem to lose that understanding through the contrary experiences of life afterwards. But that is not what God wants:
“Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.
A long time after his own birth Paul speaks about the comfort that God gives him so that he can comfort others:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are partners in our sufferings, so also you are in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Comfort should be everyone’s experience who has a relationship with God. There are times He allows situations that make us feel distinctly uncomfortable. In those circumstances He wants us to know comfort from Him.
This is what many people call knowing His presence. The primary characteristic of God’s presence is comfort. This is the same comfort you felt when on your mother’s breasts; that recognisable comfort that you inherently understand to be from God, the comfort you remember from that early time because you were created by God to remember it in that way – as from Him.
My father-in-law passed away recently. He was a dignified and very influential man. His life long employers called him the “Eminent Gris” of their estate and they gave him a grave in their own private family graveyard such was their regard for him. He was comforted on his deathbed by the presence of his grand daughters and daughters and passed peacefully to the other side. He was a man of peace who had that wonderful characteristic of thinking before he spoke and so guarded his own and other people’s souls:
One who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.
Those of us who are left to grieve his loss on this side of the great divide have known God’s comfort.
It is more than enough to know that comfort – God’s presence – in any situation. We learnt that when we were babies.
If you don’t know that comfort then ask yourself this question: Do I know God?
God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). He made us to know what that love feels like by creating a wonderful built in comfort which we have (almost) all known at an early stage in our lives.
If you have lost sight of that comfort and love, God wants you to find it again.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.