THE COMFORT FROM WITHIN: Our comfort in Christ is from within, because He said "I will be in You" (John 14:20). We can rest knowing He is within, "moved with compassion" through everything that leaves us "distressed and dispirited," even when life doesn't turn out like we hoped. Why?
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul talked about a lot of pain (which can make anyone discouraged, distressed, and dispirited), but he talked about it from the context of having a treasure within (2 Cor. 4:7). Paul knew that he would still experience the human condition and its pains, however now with a new source of strength (grace). A treasure within that would be of a surpassing greatness of power providing comfort and resilience for every pressures he faced. He wasn't left to his own will power to say, "I'm fine" (2 Cor. 4:8). So, with the powerful treasure of comfort, compassion, and a resilient love, Paul continues to VALIDATE the pains he (we) feel: "We are afflicted, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing ..." (2 Cor. 4:8).
I don't know about you, but sometimes I have felt both afflicted and crushed, perplexed and despairing. Yet, what Paul was saying is that as humans we will have afflictions, but this treasure within won't leave us crushed. We will be perplexed with confusion or even doubt, but this new source of treasure within won't leave us in despair. This treasure within is Christ within us for every life harassment and feeling of helplessness! God validates our human condition, our pain, and gives us new source, a treasure within, with surpassing greatness of power for comfort, resilience and hope.
2. Comfort is always AFFIRMATION that we belong.
Affirmation is both stating a fact and offering support and encouragement! Mental health stressors, like depression and anxiety, naturally lead us to doubt our identity, worth, God's nearness or even our security with Him (e.g., "I'm not good enough"). You know what the best comfort for this is? The supportive presence of others with very few words ... even silence! Why? Because presence reaffirms belonging, it reaffirms we're loved no matter what, not based on what we have to do to earn it. So, sometimes God may seem silent, because maybe He is just reaffirming He is present without trying to explain away our pain (Psalm 34:18). Comfort is knowing ultimately we belong to Him!
Jesus came to affirm who we are! Jesus didn't come to show us how lost and broken we were, He came to affirm us how loved we were! Being lost was not about being orphaned in darkness, it was that we belonged all along!