2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
If we step back and take a look at the world we live in it will horrify us; especially if we allow only what we see to shape our viewpoint. After all there is anger, violence, terrorism, corruption, greed and selfishness among the behaviors of mankind. However if we allow the Word of God, our Bible, to provide our viewpoint we still see all the bad stuff but we also receive comfort. The reality of Gods comfort is what I want to give you this month. As the Lord led Paul to pen this letter to the Corinthian church, he began with a prayer. Paul began his prayer with a deeply focused description of God. Paul reminds us that God should be blessed; that is God is to be given praise and honor by all. We are not reading about any god, we are reading about “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” the Son of God and God the Son, mankind’s only redeemer and salvation from sin. Jesus came to live and die among us and His death was not any normal experience of human suffering. The death of Jesus upon Calvary’s Cross is the means God uses to make forgiveness available to stubborn, rebellious humans. This makes the God of our Bible “the Father of mercies” the source of compassionate forgiveness. God could have stopped there and it would have been more than any of us would have deserved, but He didn’t, Gods concern goes beyond His forgiving mercy. He is “the God of all comfort.” God in heaven knows that His people experience physical, emotional, and even spiritual discouragement, suffering and setbacks. We know from experience that God does not deal with the issues of life as we would, often God deals with the issues of life among His people by giving us the encouragement and sustaining strength we need to endure them. Remember, whatever problem you are facing or will face, in the long run God’s comfort is greater. Do you realize the word comfort or a form of that word is used in our passage five times? Gods comfort is a central theme of Paul’s prayer for the people of Corinth and likewise should be for the church as we minister today. Notice the God of comfort ministers to His people during every “tribulation” (trouble) large or small they are met with heavenly sustenance. Romans 8:32 reminds the born again Christian that God will not abandon His people during times of trouble. We who have received Gods comfort have also became agents to provide that comfort to others. Later in 2 Corinthians Paul reminds us how the presence of other Christians encouraged him as he endured life’s tribulations. Today; many times Gods comfort comes to the world we live in through the Church; those who belong to God through Christ. I hope you can see that we as the Church have the ability and responsibility to share with others during their time of need; for example our experience, encouragement, assurance and resources. Being the hands of Jesus creates a connection that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and provides empathy, encouragement and reassurance that God’s love and comfort are made real and tangible as His people become vessels that carry to others what God has already given to us. Until next month may, God Bless you is my prayer.