Saturday, June 26, 2010

Our God is a God of Comfort

The God of All Comfort
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Sorrow is universal. It is an emotion common to all people. The sorrows of this life are quite often too heavy for us to bear alone. As followers of Jesus we are encouraged to come to God, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 2 Corinthians 1 reminds us that our God is "the God of all comfort." He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and to give hope and joy during our heaviest sorrows.

The Bible is full of things to comfort believers. It assures us that God knows all about us. Suffering makes us more thankful for our blessings. I know it is often difficult to praise God in the midst of of our suffering, however, suffering reminds us of our dependence upon God. Oftentimes when we are well and strong, we feel that we are self-sufficient. But when suffering comes we depend upon God to help us and to see us through our sorrows.

Suffering strengthens our faith in God. God wants to increase our faith. This strength comes as our faith is exercised by our hope. We cannot always understand the "whys" of God's love but we hope and exercise our faith. God has many promises for us and we need to believe them and apply them to our lives.

Suffering makes our hearts more tender and sympathetic towards others. Unless we know the personal results of God's comfort in our own tribulations, we are not able to comfort others in their trials. To have compassion is to enter in along side of the other person. Suffering enables us to better understand the needs of others.

God is always there for us, but is especially there during our trials and sorrows. God does not abandon us when we need him the most. Just as a small child will run to a parent for comfort and care when they fall and hurt themselves, we must learn to run to God during our own falls and hurts. We must trust that God is waiting to help us. We need only to ask God for help and God will come to us with comfort and love.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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