2 Corinthians 1
A teddy bear, a hug from a friend, macaroni and cheese, a cup of tea – where do you turn to find comfort? Any of these might work after a tough day when you are looking for a bit of comfort. But what about if you have had a tough month, or maybe even a difficult season or a year of trials?
Paul is a man who chose to live all out for God, His Son Jesus, the Church, and the Coming Kingdom – and that meant some very difficult seasons and years of trials. Persecution, being stoned and left for dead, a continuing health problem, jailed multiple times, and much more. In the opening chapter of his 2nd (preserved) letter to the church in Corinth Paul says, “We 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. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But, this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (vs. 8-9). Remember that 58 verse Resurrection Chapter in his previous letter to the same church – this is why it is so important to Paul – it is his hope – his comfort – what keeps him going even through a long difficult season – the God who raises the dead. He is worthy of being relied upon.
I love the list of descriptions Paul gives of God in 2 Corinthians 1:3. God is worthy of our praise. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father of compassion. He is the God of all comfort.
He IS the God of ALL comfort.
If you find yourself in need of some comfort – turn to God. He is the God of all comfort.
Too many times, instead, God is blamed for tough times and people turn away from Him. He didn’t heal our loved one. He didn’t help me get that dream job. I flunked my math test. My marriage (or my parents’ marriage) ended in divorce. He could have stopped it. He could have fixed it. But He didn’t and it hurts. So, I will turn from Him. And the hurt festers and grows.
How much more comfort is there in turning TO God, even in the hurt. The Creator God who made us. The God of compassion. NOT the God of a perfect life filled with sunshine and lollipops. But the God who is always present, always listening, always strong enough to comfort us in our tears or distress. The God who loved us enough to let His Son die for our sins so we could draw near to Him. The God who raises the dead. The God who will send His Son to Earth again. The God who is creating a coming kingdom greater than anything we can imagine. This wise, loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God who reveals Himself in His Word.
If you are in need of comfort – look in His Word to find the God of all comfort. Not sure where to start – how about with a collection of Bible verses called Father’s Love Letter. There are video, audio, and printable copies at https://www.fathersloveletter.com/. But, that’s just a start. Grab your teddy bear and bowl of mac and cheese or cup of tea and open up His Word and find Him there.
And, not just for your own comfort – so that you then can be a comfort to others by sharing the God of comfort with others in distress.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4
May You Be Comforted,