Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

Exercise. Does that word bring comfort to your mind? Probably not. Comfort is usually associated with a cup of morning coffee on a cool morning, or getting under some warm blankets after a hard work day. For most of us the last thing that comes to mind when we say comfort is exercise, The thought of a “personal trainer” is the last thing we think about when our minds want comfort. Personal trainers are often viewed at as pushy, demanding, overbearing, but seldom do we think of a personal trainer as comforting.

As a pastor it was my responsibility to comfort God’s people. Comfort doesn’t mean to simply make people feel good. In the New Testament it often has the meaning of solace, exhort or encourage. When used as a proper noun it is transliterated Paraclete or Holy Spirit (The Comforter). There is no cookie cutter formula in comforting or exhorting people Comfort usually comes after affliction. Each person has his/her own afflictions, needs, and personal goals to work through. My responsibility as a personal trainer is no different than it was as a pastor. I listen to the afflictions and desires of each client and comfort, exhort or encourage them through whatever physical needs they may have. Some people need to loose weight, some need rehabilitation from an injury or help to alleviate pain caused from arthritis or bursitis. Some clients simple want more flexibility to improve their golf swing. Some have a goal of running a 5K or marathon. Comfort isn’t so much in the process as in reaching the goal at the end of the process.

As a personal trainer, my desire is not to hurt you but to help you. Not all we do in the process will be comforting, but the end result is that you will find comfort in knowing that you are in a better position for going through the process.

God is the God of mercies and comfort. As your personal trainer I promise you that I won’t make you do what you are unable to do, but I will help you discover that you can do more than you thought you could do. I’ll be merciful, patient and in the end help you as much as I’m capable through God’s help to bring you to a place of comfort.