Life is tough sometimes, you know? I suppose that is the understatement of the century. In this world of trouble, we often long for comfort. Even saying the word comfort gives us the mental picture of sinking down into a puffy recliner in a quiet place, void of chaos. That sounds amazing!
This wonderfully warm and inviting picture of comfort isn’t quite accurate, though. I recently came across the origin of the word comfort, and I found this idea of physical ease or the absence of pain is pretty far off from its Latin roots.
The word comfort, in its earliest form, was made up of two Latin words: com, which means together, and fortis, which means strong or strength. So, the word comfort originally meant “together strength.”
When I take this new discovery concerning the original definition of comfort, and I put that together with what I know to be true about Jesus (He is Immanuel — God with us), then I understand comfort is not the absence of pain, but rather, the promise of His strength together with me.
To be honest, that is even better. In this world we will have trouble. Jesus Himself told us so. But we also have the promise of His presence and the promise of His strength to get us through to the end of the age.
In Revelation 21:22-23, we are told there will be no temple in Heaven and no need for the sun and the moon. That’s certainly different!
The same verses tell us we will no longer need the sun or the moon because there will be no night — Jesus will illuminate the place. We will literally walk by the light that radiates from God and Jesus. Their physical presence will be enough to light up Heaven for eternity. And who needs a temple for worship when every time we see Jesus, we will worship Him right then and there, no building necessary?
It is in that place our current definition of the word comfort, the absence of pain, will be accurate. When Jesus welcomes me in to the place He has prepared, I will truly be comforted as we presently understand comfort.
Until then, Christian soldiers, we march on, leaning on the ancient, Latin definition of the word comfort: together strength. We have the strength of God working with and in us to highlight His power in our weaknesses.
We also draw strength from one another as brothers and sisters in the faith, who walk this narrow way to the Father’s house arm in arm, one day at a time. There is really no way to know what all we will endure between here and there, but we press on because true comfort awaits us in Heaven.