5 Dynamic Functions of Prophecy
To comfort is to soothe, reassure, bring cheer, bring a feeling of relief from pain and anxiety, lessen one's grief or distress, and give strength and hope by means of kindness and thoughtful attention. God longs to comfort His children. He longs to speak to them in a way that produces strength and hope. A prophetic word of comfort spoken at the right moment can break the back of discouragement, hopelessness, and anguish! "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
One of the most basic and most beautiful functions of prophecy is seeing redemption come into lives. God's heart revealed throughout the Bible is to redeem us from the power of sin and death. Jesus redeems us or save us from sin, error, or evil by paying the price for our release from sin and its consequences.
To edify means to instruct, benefit, uplift, enlighten, or build up. 1 Corinthians 14 is filled with the correlation between prophecy and edification, which is the building up of Christian character. "But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church." (1 Corinthians 14:3-4) & "So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. " (1 Corinthians 14:12) & "...knowledge puffs up while love builds up." (1 Corinthians 8:1b)
To exhort is to urge, advice, caution, admonish, or warn. Words of exhortation are vital in that they bring forth the ultimate purpose of God. Even a difficult word that is delivered in the right spirit leaves up feeling a sense of relief and freedom, ...with direction and a way of escape from bondage.
As we see throughout the Bible, prophets are given to bring direction to God's people.