In his second letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul makes this startling revelation about the comfort of believers: “2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT. 4 WHO COMFORTETH us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” [2Corinthians 1:3-4].
Paul’s emphasis here is that God’s the source of ALL comfort. This information is very important, because the challenge I’ve seen with a lot of people isn’t really tied to the difficulties they’re going through, but to the fact that they don’t know where to go look for the solution.
That’s something that made Jesus feel so bad at a particular instance when He was on earth literally. With His findings He discovered that people’s real challenge wasn’t the problem they were facing, but their inability to go to the right place for help. Speaking about Jesus, Matthew tells us that “And what pity he felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd” [Matthew 9:36 TLB].
In Paul’s case, telling the Corinthian Christians that God’s the source of all comfort supposes that outside God, there’s no true or real comfort. No matter what a person thinks they’re enjoying as comfort, true comfort comes only from one source, and that’s God.
There are people who may think that to access this kind of comfort you just have to start looking for where God is, meet Him, and ask Him what you’ve to do in order to appropriate the comfort He offers. That would actually be an extremely stressful task, but you don’t have to worry about that, because I’m going to show exactly what to do.
The point I’m making is that the fact that God’s the only custodian of ALL comfort is something that has to be established in your mind so that in your quest for true, real and lasting comfort, you’ll not go to a wrong place or person.
You see, our money, career, job, business, can only offer us what looks like comfort, but in the actual sense it isn’t, because God’s the only source of all comfort.
To answer this question, I’m going to remain within the context of God’s Word in 2Corinthians 1:3. Here, the word ‘comfort’ is from the Greek transliteration “paraklēsis”, which means EXHORTATION, among others. You can’t get this from anywhere else except in God, and He can give it to you directly or through a channel that He’s endowed with the same exhortation or comfort which you need.
The Scope of God’s Comfort
This is revealed in verse 4, where Paul tells us that God’s comfort /exhortation is – in all our tribulations, because it can’t be limited by tribulations.
What’s the Purpose of God’s Comfort?
It’s to endow us with the supernatural abilities needed to comfort others using the same exhortation which we have received from God.
Why Do We Need God’s Comfort? The answer is given in 2Corinthians1:5 [NLT]
“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ”.
This is why God showers us with His comfort – because we suffer for Christ. Take a look at what Paul said further on the issue of suffering for Christ, in 2 Corinthians 1:6-10
6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.
7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.
9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.
What does Paul mean when he talks of suffering for Christ?
In order to establish what Paul means here by suffering for Christ, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that the Greek transliteration for “suffer” in verses 5 & 6 is apparently a primary verb (the third form used only in certain tenses for it); which signifies to experience a painful sensation or impression, probably stemming from a stiff satanic opposition we’d have to face because of our faith in Christ. It’s only this kind of sensational pain that God considers suffering for Christ, and that’s what qualifies us for His comfort [exhortation].
This is the reason why Paul wasn’t concerned about knowing Christ, but much more than that, he also picked interest in the fellowship of His suffering, because that’s what grants all of us access to God’s super abounding comfort [exhortation].
I’m certain that you were blessed by this post. Please, feel free to leave your comment and share with others.
You’re deeply loved, highly favoured and greatly blessed because you’re God’s righteousness in Christ, and a life-giving spirit just like Jesus.
Jesus Is Lord!