God COMFORTS us to make us COMFORTERS, not COMFORTABLE
November 25 Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians Chapters 1-3
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Apostle Paul begins his second letter to the church at Corinth by exalting and lifting praises to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 3). He bursts forth into thanksgiving for the comfort that has come to him in the midst of his distress and affliction. Paul’s thanksgiving is addressed to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both Man (Jesus) and God (Christ). God is the “Father of compassion” in two senses: He is its source, and He is the Father characterized by compassion. It is from God that all mercies and comforts flow!
In all Paul’s afflictions, he was conscious of God’s comforting presence as he had received the encouragement and exhortation from God who was close beside him. This is the “God of all comfort” who has an endless supply of comfort and is ready to pour it out upon us in abundance. In fact, our God’s whisper of comfort helps to quiet the noise and pain of all our trials and tribulations. Our Heavenly Father is the God of mercy and compassion who cares for us with an everlasting love!
Our God is sovereign and He knows everything that happens in our lives. Sometimes, He allows us to suffer in his divine wisdom and then comforts us so that we can in turn comfort those in our area of influence who are in trouble. God comforts us in our troubles so that we in turn can comfort others in their troubles, exactly as God comforted us!
In fact, God gives us the opportunity to use the lessons that we have learned during our trials and the comforts that He has given us to help other people going through similar grievous situations. The comfort that God gives to us becomes for us a gift we can give out to others (see 7:6; Acts 9:10–19). Our willingness to share it reflects the sincerity of our faith (see John 13:35). God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but God comforts us to make us comforters!
In fact, God’s comfort is not given as a grant, rather it is loaned, and we are expected to pass it on to others. The pain we experience now will help us encourage others in their trials. If we fail to share God’s comfort with others, our experience in the crucible of suffering will be wasted; and it will be a tragedy to waste our precious sufferings. Let us comfort others using the same comfort that God has comforted us during our troubles!
"For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies." (Lam. 3:31-32)