by Philip Bennett Power
Edited by Thomas M Witte
Amongst the many wonderful truths which are spoken of God in the Bible, one of the most wonderful and beautiful is that He is a “God of comfort.”
“Comfort” is such a soothing word in itself, that, the moment we hear of it in connection with God we are led to expect great things; some cheering, some lifting up, some refreshment, some ease, some lightening of our trouble, something very good.
There are sick beds without God, and then of course there can be little comfort. No wonder that the days are long and dreary, and the nights full of blackness, when a man has to bear his trouble alone—when he has no God to talk to, no God to talk to him—when, if he do think of God at all, it is only with fear, lest this illness may bring him into His presence; or else with discontent, thinking that it is He who has laid this upon him.
These pages are not written for such as want to have a sick bed without God, except indeed to show them a more excellent way.
Should this little book fall into the hands of such an one; then it says — “Dear friend, you cannot help being ill, being in bed, or on the sofa, or even in an arm-chair, (for many people on sofas, and in arm-chairs, are quite as ill, and quite as much to be pitied, and quite as much in need of comfort as those who cannot stir from their beds,) but you can help being as unhappy as you are. All these circumstances need not be comfortless. They are so, only because you shut God out from them.”
But what about God being a God of comfort? Everything depends upon that. You, who do not look to Him, and you who do, are the one as badly off as the other, unless God be a God of comfort.
Now, for all our sakes, the first and best thing to do will be to see what His word says about Him; because there first, and in the experiences of His people next, we are to find Him.
And if we find Him to be this God of comfort, then you have misjudged Him hitherto, when you thought Him an enemy, and unkind, and a judge, and an avenger, and nothing else; now, and henceforth, be encouraged to look at Him in a new light.
“Speak good of His name,” says the Psalmist. That is what I want to do in the forefront of this little book, because if you can be persuaded to think good of Him, you shall have all the benefits spoken of here; and I should like every sick one who reads these pages to get all the blessing, to be richly comforted.
Blessed Lord, this is a “Sick Man’s Comfort Book;” and that it may be so indeed, first we must be sure of what Thou art. O Thou most worthy judge eternal, we have no comfort in ourselves, and unless Thou hadst revealed Thyself as a comforting God we could have had none in Thee. Thy justice, and power, and majesty, are no comfort to us if they are alone, for we are only vile earth, and miserable sinners; it is what Thou tellest us of Thyself that gives us any joy. We would not presume to look for comfort in the direction of Thyself, if Thou hadst not pointed out to us the way; but now that Thou hast done this; from Thee, and the things concerning Thee alone, shall come our comfort and our peace.
Show Thyself to us, as Thou art in Thy word. Comfort us with the kindness that there is in Thyself; and speak peace to all the readers of this book, for the sake of The Great Peacemaker, —the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ Himself— Amen.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I. Is God, A God of Comfort at All? CHAPTER II. Hinderances to our Believing that God is a God of all Comfort
CHAPTER III. Helps to our Believing that God is a God of Comfort
CHAPTER IV. A Comfort in Pain.
CHAPTER V. A Comfort as to our being Useless
CHAPTER VI. A Comfort in felt Unworthiness
CHAPTER VII. A Comfort in Envious Thoughts about Others
CHAPTER VIII. A Comfort in our being a trouble to others
CHAPTER IX. A Comfort in fear that the affliction will be long.
CHAPTER X. Comfort in the fact that we shall have to be alone
CHAPTER XI. A Comfort in our fears that we shall fail and dishonour God at last 74
CHAPTER XII. Comfort in the thought of our departure hence