Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17—NKJV)

Our text is one of the great benedictions of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. It is a worthy prayer request for all saints to pray for one another because the Source of comfort is featured prominently.

We all have memories of various times in our lives when we found comfort, gave comfort or were comforted. Some of the most cherished memories of adulthood have to do with consoling a child in their distress. Skinned knees, bumped noggins, and hurt hearts always respond well to a few moments spent in tender care.

To be comforted is a change in attitude from distressful pain to quiet balance and restoration. It is no wonder that before the Savior died on the cross He notified the disciples that He was leaving to make room that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) might come and minister to them. The work of the Holy Spirit was crucial to their role of founding the church in very dark and turbulent times. The legacy of the Comforter is also ours today.

The Holy Spirit’s ministry changed in the church age so that today He indwells every believer from the point of regeneration. He illumines the Word of God to your heart so that you understand and apply it. He convicts you of sin and uses the Bible to prompt your heart to follow the will of God. He is the seal for your life until the Day of Redemption. He empowers your prayers and spiritual walk. Essentially everything of virtue in any believer’s life comes directly as a result of the Holy Spirit’s “Comforter” ministry.

The Greek word translated by the word comfort is parakaleo. It is a word with many wonderful facets which all focus together to describe the full meaning of the comfort available to the believer through the Holy Spirit. Its root meaning is to “call to oneself.” There is a beseeching quality to the word as it infers a calling to a personal audience for the purpose of admonishing, exhorting, consoling, and comforting. The Holy Spirit is the greatest encourager, admonisher and comforter you will ever have on this side of eternity.

Incidentally, the effectiveness of His comforting ministry is directly related to the amount you avail yourself of the Bible on a daily basis. Hiding God’s Word in your heart and regularly exposing your heart to the Word gives the Holy Spirit the tools He will primarily use to transform your attitude from distressful pain to quiet balance and restoration in comfort. This is why the thoughtful quotation of a Bible verse from a brother or sister in Christ helps to quietly restore your balance in trying circumstances, thanks to the Holy Spirit!

Our passage teaches that one of the choicest blessings for every believer is that the grace of salvation includes everlasting comfort and good hope, starting now and never ending. This grace of God is of such quality that your heart is settled in secure, quiet, confidant comfort leaving you free to be strong in every good word and work.

Are you availing yourself of every opportunity to be in the Bible in order to give the Holy Spirit the tools to fulfill His comforting role in your personal life? Are you freely sharing the Bible so that the Holy Spirit may be at work in the lives of others? Trust and obey.