As we traveled through the mountains of Colorado this summer, God spoke to me through a radio teaching on the Holy Spirit, specifically about Him being the Comforter. Now, I’ve known that, but what I didn’t know was the origin of the word “comforter.” The story the speaker related defined a new vein of truth about the Holy Spirit, striking in me a rich deposit of gold, a refreshing word from the Lord.
It started with the invention of the piano, a giant step up from an earlier instrument, the harpsichord. A major change and improvement was that the keys on the piano were touch- sensitive. By contrast, the harpsichord had the same loudness whether played with a light or strong touch. This difference changed the way music was written for the piano. Notes could now be played softly, mildly loud or with “forte” or “strength”.
The original word new instrument was the “piano com-forte”. The prefix “com” means “with,” and “forte” means strength, which implies a meaning not often considered when we think of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter. Yet, it’s right there. The word “comfort” means to strengthen. It suggests that He, the Holy Spirit, helps make us strong, supports and builds us up in times of need. How different it is when we think of the Comforter as One who not only soothes or consoles but as one who also imparts power, encouragement and strength as elements of His comfort. For believers, that has the potential to embolden us with confidence to step up and step out. Experiencing the strength of the Comforter releases us into service to Him.
(Submitted by: Bill Tacchella)