“Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2 (NCV).
Who finds comfort in Christ? It is those who follow and those who want to follow in His steps. What is the comfort they receive in Christ? They have the comfort that when they follow Him, they will come to where He is – He who arose from the dead.
Young people, especially, should think about this, as they are at the beginning of their life and have to choose the way they want to go for the rest of their life. If you choose to live according to your sinful human lusts and desires, then you should think about those who have lived in that way for many years and see if you find any comfort in how their lives are going or how it has ended. If you follow the same way, you can be sure that you will end up like them.
Why do we need comfort?
Many people live according to their own will, and as a result they end up in difficulties. They think they are suffering unjustly, and they do not seek their comfort in Christ but rather in the approval of people. If they do not manage to get their approval, they get angry at them. Such people can never have “one mind and purpose” with others.
If they would have followed Jesus, He who did not make any threats when He suffered, but gave it over to God who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:23), they would also have found their comfort in Christ and would have forgiven the others just as Christ forgave them. All those who find their comfort in Christ will get one mind and purpose.
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 (NIV).
“Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (GNT).
Paul writes: Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? The answer is Yes, if we, just as Christ, say No to ourselves so that we don’t sin; then we also have that comfort of love and fellowship of the Spirit. But to get to know this love, comfort and fellowship without giving up our self-will is impossible. Then we try to find comfort among people, but this only leads to disappointment. On the other hand, when we live as Jesus lived, we will find more than enough true comfort and mercy.
“… we receive so much comfort through Christ in the same way that we share so many of Christ's sufferings… Our hope for you is certain, because we know that as you are partners in suffering, so also you are partners in comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:5,7 (CEB).
Those who shared the sufferings of Christ - who resisted sin when they were tempted - are the ones that follow Jesus, and Paul had a strong hope for them. He could depend on them. They had no lack of comfort or affection or love. They also had fellowship with Jesus.
Ungodly people will also be able to get this comfort in Christ if they turn away from their evil ways. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
In Christ there is comfort, compassion and mercy for everyone who is willing to give up their self-will. That is what Jesus did, who came down from heaven not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. And that is the way that leads to life. (John 6:38.)