Community as Agent of Comfort

Learn to Love Well

No one is exempt from suffering. But the church can provide a safe and loving environment for parents who lost a child, a woman battling cancer, or a student fighting suicidal thoughts. In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, pastor Afshin Ziafat, Lead Pastor of of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, makes a case for the church as an agent of comfort for those in hardship. Biblical community becomes the hands and feet of Jesus to console and love in difficult times.  

 As God comforts us in our troubles, we can learn to comfort others. Afshin said the church can surround the hurting and provide hope, love, and practical help. However, we shouldn't resort to oversimplified answers. We need to learn to love well. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)

God of All Comfort

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.5For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This passage highlights God's comfort in our affliction. In what ways have you felt God's comfort? How has realizing God's comfort in your life equipped you to comfort others?
Log In to Continue

Afshin mentioned that some Christians don't know how to comfort others—they say, "It was God's will," which often does more harm than good. What are some helpful ways to comfort others that you've experienced or witnessed?
Log In to Continue

How have you seen community come alongside you or someone you know in the midst of tragedy? What did they do well? How did they meet practical as well as emotional needs?
Log In to Continue

In what ways could you comfort a friend this week? If you're in the middle of difficulty, how could you lean on God and your church community this week?
Log In to Continue

God blesses us with the incredible gifts of His presence and a loving community. If you feel bogged down under the weight of your circumstances, turn to your church community—they can shoulder your burdens and meet practical needs. If you're not in hardship, open your eyes to the needs around you and be the hands and feet of Jesus to provide love and comfort. 

To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here