Webster tells us the word comfort is derived from the Latin com meaning “with” and fortis meaning “strength.” Hence the first meaning of the verb is “to give strength and hope; to cheer.” Another meaning is “to ease the grief or trouble of; console.” In 2 Corinthians 1:5, the much persecuted Paul the Apostle says, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” Our study today is aimed at aiding us in being recipients of God’s assistance, support, solace, and consolation: in one word—comfort.
- Genesis 27:41-46 and 28:1-2 indicate that Jacob left the home of his parents, Isaac and Rebekah, for two reasons: He was running from the anger of his brother Esau whom he had defrauded, and he was going to find a wife from among his mother’s family. Why do you suppose Jacob was in need of comfort at this time?
- Jacob went northward to Bethel, traveling about fifty miles the first day. No doubt he was very tired as he gathered stones for his pillows. How did God provide comfort that night as Jacob slept with the earth for his bed and the heavens for his canopy?
- Recall a time of disappointment and the blessing that God provided which resulted in your comfort. Consider sharing this experience with the class on Sunday.
- In order to gain an appreciation of Jacob’s need for further comfort during the next twenty years of his life, read in Genesis, chapters 29-31, the story of his stay with his uncle. How did God comfort Jacob during his stay with Laban?
- Are there conditions which we must meet to be assured of God’s comfort? Refer to the following Scriptures and list the various conditions which Jacob met.
- How long did Jacob wrestle with the angel? What blessing and comfort did he receive as a result of this prevailing?
- At some time in one’s life, it may appear that all is gone: friends, family, job, etc. How can one find comfort during these times? See Job 23:8-12.
- During Jesus’ ministry, He said to a woman who came to Him, “Daughter, be of good comfort” (Matthew 9:22). What attribute was exercised to secure this blessing? He also promised comfort to His disciples when He said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). In what ways does Jesus comfort people today?