3 Ways to Comfort Friends Who Are Hurting

It can be hard to know what to do when someone is suffering. This 1-minute devotion offers 3 biblical ways to comfort a friend. 
It's easy to help a friend who is suffering in an area where we have suffered ourselves. We can identify, sympathize, and pass along the comfort God gave us (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).  
But how do we help a friend who is going through something we've never experienced? How can we offer help when we don't really understand their pain? 

Here are three suggestions:
1. Pray.
It's important to  pray for our friends and ask God how we can help them bear their burdens (Galatians 6:2).
2. Don't judge her.

Unless God calls us to correct our friend (Galatians 6:1), we need to be very careful not to act as if we know the cause of our friend's problems. There's nothing worse than a "Job's friend" when we're suffering.

3. Be a good listener, not a "fixer."

Too often we think we need to give advice when we simply need to listen and show our concern. We should "rejoice with those who rejoice [and] mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15 

God wants us to love and encourage each other, so let's never neglect a hurting friend.

This 1-minute devotion offers additional insights into comforting a friend: She Didn't Know What to Say. And the 1-minute devotion Go to the Source offers some comforting thoughts about our God of Comfort.

It can be hard to know what to do when someone is suffering. This 1-minute devotion offers 3 biblical ways to comfort a friend.


It can be hard to know what to do when someone is suffering. This 1-minute devotion offers 3 biblical ways to comfort a friend.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Gail, thanks for this! I'm afraid I am too quick to offer solutions to the problems and not only listen to my friends. I appreciate you reminding me of the scripture in Romans to rejoice when it's time for that and mourn during such a time and just let the friend know we care and are concerned. Seems when I'm quick to offer advice, maybe they start to turn away from me because I sound insensitive to their need of being heard.
    Thanks for opening my eyes to this!
    Sister in Him,

    1. Hi Etta,
      I've been right there with you. Until I went through some difficulties in my life, I actually thought my friends were wanting advice when they shared a problem. But, when I was struggling with problems, I so appreciated the friends who just listened and prayed for me because the ones giving advice often didn't understand the situation fully. I'm glad this was helpful.
      Have a blessed day,

  2. I have gone thru cancer twice. I found a number of friends who just avoided me as they didn't know what to say. It was more important to me for them to just say they didn't know what to say. I coveted their thoughts, cards and prayers. The lesson I took away from that experience is to ask hurting people - "How can I pray for you?" I'm surprised they open up and share things I would never have dreamed they were concerned about. I also find it's important to follow up not only really praying for that person but also sending a simple email, text or card. Last thing - My cancer treatments stopped two years ago. I'm doing well now. But it does bother me when people come up to me and ask me, "Health-wise. How are you doing?" When I tell them fine, they respond, "Really?" And they give me these puppy dog eyes looking sorrowful that they really believing my cancer was fatal and that it's just a matter of time before it kills me. Gets me anxious that maybe I'm not really OK. Maybe there is some cancer that I don't know about. Please just let me live as a normal person today. If I want to talk about it - I'll bring it up. Please don't keep reminding me for years afterwards! If I've told you I'm doing well health-wise, please don't ask every time you see me.

    1. Thanks for sharing these insights. When we have gone through a difficulty, we can see what kind of responses are most helpful.

      Praise God that you are healed of your cancer. Don't let these discouraging looks and comments of others bring you down.

      God bless you!