And who comforts like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder that doesn't listen to the voice of the charmer, even though he charms wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and no matter how you comfort him, you will only get a note or two of mournful resignation from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope.
Do you not hear him sing--
'Tis paradise, if you are here;
If you depart, 'tis hell.
You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; He is the "God of all comfort."1 There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvelous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the gold-beater and can hammer that promise out for weeks.
So, then, poor Christian, you need not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask Him to give you consolation. You are a poor, dry well. You have heard it said that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water; and so, Christian, when you are dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in your heart, and then your joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them to be Job's comforters; but go first and foremost to "God, who comforts the downcast," and you will soon say, "When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul."
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Exodus 3
verse 2 Luke 6
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.