“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Job’s comforters provided him just the opposite of comfort. They poured salt into his wounds, insisting he was the cause of his own tragic condition. In their attempts to help him they only added to his misery: “… Miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:2) But real comfort would come down the line, when God “turned the captivity” of Job and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10,11)
Comfort is hard to come by when we have suffered great loss. It is equally hard to find when we have somehow, not by our own choosing, been kept from the life of happiness and fulfillment we have longed for and dreamed about. We mourn over both what we have lost and what we have not had.
We should not expect to find the comfort our soul needs from the world of men. We are fortunate when they don’t know what to say to us. When they open their mouths, they are apt to only increase our pain. But God knows how to comfort those who mourn.
The patience of Job was his waiting to discover that his latter end was more blessed than his beginning. (Job 42:12) “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11) The Lord always has happy endings for those who stick with Him through the darkest night with the declaration: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).
The comfort that finally comes does not have to be in a double portion of earthly things. So often it is in the knowledge that we have gained spiritual gold in the fire. (Rev. 3:18) We realize we’ve learned obedience through the things we’ve suffered. We felt that our life needed this or that to be complete, and we discovered just the opposite – God has perfected us in a wilderness of want. There is no longer a need to mourn because what God has given us is better than what we lost or missed out on. He has more than made up for the absence of anything we deemed good. Stranger than all is the knowledge that the deepest riches we now have in God have come to us precisely through our failure to realize the ideal life we had in mind.
And when we see the hand of God upon our life and can thank Him for our deepest, longest, most painful trials, knowing they have worked for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, He will indeed have comforted us.