Posted by: missionventureministries | August 30, 2018

GOD COMFORTS US SO THAT WE CAN COMFORT OTHERS – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) 

Paul opens this letter by praising God who has shown so much mercy and comfort to him. As we see, Paul knows the mercy and comfort of God on a first-person basis, because, as Spurgeon states:

“Here was a man, who never knew if he might be dead the next day, because his enemies were many, and cruel, and mighty; and yet he spent a great part of his time in praising and blessing God.” 

He calls God the “Father of compassion” and the “God of all comfort.” In His mercy and love, God is eager to provide comfort to His children in any and all circumstances. Whatever the trial we face, our Heavenly Father knows the situation and offers comfort as needed. The fact that He is the God of all comfort teaches us that all comfort ultimately comes from Him. He is our source of peace, joy and blessing.

How does God comfort us? He does this when we earnestly seek Him through prayer, reading Scripture, through listening to the leadership of the indwelling Holy Spirit in us, through godly friends and some times even through providential occurrence.

Once we have experienced God’s compassion and comfort in the midst of a trial we are better equipped to minister that same comfort to others. We know what it takes, by the grace of God, to help others who are suffering; and in bringing comfort to those in trouble; we glorify God by giving a glimpse of how He comforts those who are in distress. 

The comfort we Christians receive flows through us to others “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Like grace, comfort is an active, powerful gift to be not merely received but actively shared with others, supernaturally multiplied to advance God’s kingdom.   

Paul delighted and had sufficient reason to regard God as the source of true comfort, as all Christians should. There is no other real source of happiness but God; and He is able and willing to impart comfort to His people. He promised and sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to accomplish this in us. 

Please remember that there is no amount of human suffering that can outstrip or exceed the resources in God’s heart to bring comfort and sustenance and grace to see us through. We need never doubt whether God is up to the task of providing what our soul most needs to survive, even thrive, in the midst of the worst imaginable heartache and hardship. It was only because Paul was confident that God’s comfort matched and exceeded his suffering that he was able to convey that comfort to others when they faced similar, perhaps even more severe, trials than his. 

Nothing in Paul’s life was interpreted as existing or occurring solely for himself. It was to help others, just as Christ gave of Himself, and so should we. 

What kind of comfort do you receive from your faith in God? From your personal daily relationship with God how might you share the blessing of this kind of comfort with a family member, a friend or a co-worker who is currently suffering? What words of comfort can you bring to others? 

Here are some: 

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) 

And Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

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