“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 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).
The term “comfort” means encouraging someone during a time of intense affliction. God, therefore, encourages us through a number of ways and a variety of means. Sometimes He encourages us through people, as he did the Apostle Paul:
“But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6).
God could have directly encouraged Paul’s heart, but chose instead to use Titus’ coming to cheer him up. The point is, God has numerous ways to lift us up when we face discouraging times. Often when we feel weak, God strengthens our hearts with His presence and so encourages us. He stirs up a joyous spirit in us that points us to spiritual truths that transcend any trial we may pass through.
On occasion, God comforts us through great deliverances, such as coming through for us at the last moment. When this occurs, we know it came from Him and so we rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8). Sometimes God provides unexpected resources that deliver us from financial ruin. At other times, He allows us to crash financially to teach us that we weren’t ruined at all. Far from it, we grew enormously in Christ through the trying experience. On each occasion, one truth remains: God was not far off.
When we turn to God during times of deep distress, He draws close to us to lift us up and speak words of comfort to us. His care knows no limits, and His love knows no bounds. He even remembers our tears as though He kept them in a bottle:
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56:8).
Though others may abandon you and you feel all alone, God will stand by you and will never desert you (Hebrews 13:5; 2 Timothy 4:16-17). As we will discuss tomorrow, one reason God comforts us is so that we will comfort others. But ponder the deep love of Christ in drawing close to you during seasons of testing and affliction. Keep looking to Him and keep praying. He will draw close with divine consolation and soothing comfort. You are His child, and He cannot be unmoved by the sorrows of His people (Hebrews 4:15). So rejoice, even when life hurts. As God appointed this trial, so He also appointed its ending. May God be glorified in our sufferings, and thanked for His marvelous comfort.
Posted on Tue, August 2, 2016
by Sam Petitfils