3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
Do you think maybe that Paul thinks there is comfort in the Christian life? It sounds like it!
The fun part is that the word used all over in these verses for comfort is the same word that Jesus uses when He says that He’ll send us a Comforter at the last supper. It’s obvious there that He’s talking about the Holy Spirit.
So walk through that a little bit. God is THE Comforter and the source of all true comfort. Whenever something happens to us, He comforts us.
What if we believe that is true whether it feels like it or not? What if we walked through our daily life by faith in the fact that God and His word is true, rather than what our experience feels like. Do you think that our feelings and experiences would change?
That’s the thing. When things aren’t congruent, something will finally bend to make sense. If we put all of our confidence in our experiences, we’ll bend our beliefs to match our experience.
“This bad thing happened to me. Woe is me. I guess (watch that change!) God doesn’t care about me.”
“This thing happened to me. I wonder what God is going to do about it, because I know He loves me and is caring for me.”
When God provides material things or inner comfort, which one of these two people is more likely to see it?
It seems obvious to read it like this after the drought is over and everything is going great, so build up your faith on those beautiful days. The God of all comfort is comforting you as you read this!
None of our suffering or difficulty is wasted, either. There is never a dull moment in this class. Every bit of comfort we get from God is a double portion so that we can share that comfort with others.
He doesn’t comfort us in isolation for us to can it up and store it in our basement. He serves it to us in to-go cups, with a drink carrier. He serves it to us in love, with an extra to share with a friend that is just around the corner.
That’s why Paul calls Him the God of ALL comfort.
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