… for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
— Psalm 23:4
Some people are amazed to find out that the great and the mighty of the world are often in need of comfort and consolation. Handel began his Messiah with the words “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people” because this verse of Scripture was dear to his heart. Luther pondered Isaiah 40 over and over again when he was in prison at the castle in Wartburg. Oliver Cromwell also went to it for help in time of storm. The great Daniel Webster was mighty in debate, and yet his heart was often grieved, and he read this passage again and again. Tennyson called it one of the five great classics in the Old Testament record.
We all need comfort. High and low, prince and pauper, none of us can live life to the full without this solace from Him who is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).
One young seminarian was filled with vim and vigor. He was coming like Daniel to the judgment and was ready to let his flock have it. He told an elderly minister who replied, “But don’t forget to preach comfort. Remember that those people in the pews have heartaches and problems and fears. Always preach comfort.” Indeed, in this day how great is that need for comfort!