The scripture says in 1 Cor 14:3 – But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. Today, I will discuss the meaning of the word “comfort.” Comfort in the Greek is paramythia.
Paramythia means to console, calm, or persuade with a high degree of tenderness. When a prophet is speaking a comforting word they are lifting up the spirit of the hearer. A word of comfort can range from calming someone’s heart to stimulating and giving them an incentive to do something. According to dictionary.com Comfort means to console, to alleviate or lessen the grief, sorrow, or disappointment of; to give solace to.
Isaiah 40:2 states Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
The Children of Israel had sinned greatly against the Lord and God brought double judgment against them. Because of their iniquity, their land would be destroyed and they were sold into Babylonian slavery. Sometimes we can do things that displease the Lord and because He loves us, He corrects us. All suffering is not from the devil. Thank God His mercy, not His judgment endures forever.
All trials have a beginning and a end date. When you are being disciplined, it does not feel good and can be painful (Heb 12). Yet God works HIs purpose in our pain. When God says “speak comfortably to Jerusalem”, it means to “speak to the heart” of the hearer it would be In the midst of their trial God would perform a deep inner surgery within their heart. As you are going through your trial there maybe something God wants you to learn or He is trying to speak to your heart? What is He saying to you?
As Israel is dealing with God’s judgment of hard labor, after a time, God lets The Prophet Isaiah know He was now ready to bless Israel. Because they had fully repented, He declares their warfare (battle/hardship) is over! God sends a comforting word saying their forced labor and slavery was over. Praise God! Are you being forced to do something or in a situation as a result of a bad decision? Are you in a time of suffering? Decree, this too will pass!
God had forgiven their iniquity, If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)! Blessings always follows obedience. God knows when we need a comforting word and will send it right on time.
The Living Bible says “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and tell her that her sad days are gone. Decree my sad days are gone! It was these comforting words “your sad days are over, your punishment is over, her sin is paid for, she’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with” that spurred and gave them strength to take the extremely long treacherous journey from Babylon back to their beloved home – Jerusalem, to rebuilt it.
Some other words of comfort a prophet may use are: fear not, God is giving You His favor, be of good cheer, God is going to take the sting out, you will be a blessing, be quiet, be established, I see your tears, I will have mercy on you, I forgive you, I have already forgiven you, I will not forget you, I will heal you, I will comfort you on every side, weep not, I love you, be not afraid, be bold, I will be your Father, be strong, be prosperous., be glad, I will have compassion on you, I will renew your strength, etc.
What words have God used to comfort you? Leave a comment down below.
God Bless You!
Prophetess Pam King-Finklea
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Liberty Bible Commentary, 1983
HCSB Study Bible, 2010