2 Corinthians 1:3 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 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. NKJV
Paul used some unusual terms to describe God. He calls Him ‘the Father of mercies’ and ‘God of all comfort.’ Yesterday we examined the mercy of God. Today we will consider His comfort.
The word ‘comfort’ is a major topic spoken of throughout the Bible. Here are just a few examples:
- “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13)
- “Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion…” (Isaiah 51:3)
- “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1)
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
- Paul tells us that God is the “God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation…” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
When we think of God’s comfort, perhaps the first thought that comes to our mind is God consoling us whenever we are hurting. To console someone is to say or do something with the intent to lessen their sorrow. When I think of someone being consoled, I envision a mother tenderly caressing a crying child and saying soothing words. Is that what it means when it says that God will comfort us? Isaiah wrote, “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. (Isaiah 40:1 NKJV) Keeping this passage in its original context we see that God wanted to encourage His people who had been carried off into exile. God wanted to ease their distress. Paul said that God ‘comforts us in all our tribulation.’ Tribulation means distress, affliction, or trouble. When we are going through a dark time in our life, God desires to console us. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13) Sometimes the greatest comfort God can give us is to let us feel His presence.
But the word comfort goes beyond consoling. It also means to encourage. Some Bible translations actually use the word encourage. Literally, the word encourage means to put courage into someone. In the New Testament, the word comfort is two Greek words put together. Part of the word means ‘to be called’ and part of the word means ‘alongside.’ Therefore, to comfort is to be called to come alongside of someone in need in order to put courage in them.
We should note that Jesus used this word in reference to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…” (John 14:16 NKJV) In the King James Version the Spirit is called ‘the Comforter’, whereas in other translations He is referred to as the ‘Helper.’ The Spirit has been put inside of us in order to encourage and build us up.
Whatever we may go through in life, God is there to help us. He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. There is no situation that is too messy for Him. There is no question He can’t answer. There is no sin He can’t forgive. There is no weakness He can’t strengthen. There is no battle He can’t win. There is no impossible that He can’t make possible. He is the never-ending source of all mercy and comfort.
God bless you brethren.