The God of all comfort
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3
2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.
4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
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The merciful Father is the God of all comfort. He has promised to provide comfort to those in need in the same fashion that a loving mother comforts her child.
Isaiah 66:13 I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child.
In the process of being comforted by the Father, those whom He comforts are prepared to comfort others in the same fashion with which they have been comforted. The Father has had a worldwide comfort-giving network in place for millennia. His network consists of all children of the King who have received His comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Each child of the King is to be a comfort courier.
REFLECT & PRAY
So often we have a misconception of what the Father is like. He’s not a vindictive judge out to punish children of the King. He is “not called the Father of judgments or vengeances but the Father of all mercies and comfort” (Bernard).
Father thank You for being my comforter and my encourager. Thank You for strengthening me when I was weak and discouraged. Enable me to comfort others in the same way that You have comforted me.
The Father God is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). The phrase Father of mercies has been translated as “the all-merciful Father” (NEB), “a gentle Father” (JB), and simply “the merciful Father” (Knox).
The Greek word translated as mercies, merciful, or compassion is oiktirmos. Oiktirmos is a rare word that is only used five times in the New Testament. Oiktirmos is a deep awareness of and sympathy for others who suffer. The root Greek term oiktos means the lamenting or regretting of a person’s misfortune or death, then metaphorically sympathy, pity. Oiktirmos is typically translated as mercy, compassion, pity, sympathy.
The Greek word translated as comfort is paraklesis. Paraklesis is comfort given to strengthen and establish. It involves exhortation, encouragement, and admonition. Paraklesis comes from the same Greek root that designates the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, Comforter, Helper (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7)
The Greek word translated as comfort is used as both a verb and a noun 10 times in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. Comfort has the sense of consoling someone in trouble or sorrow by giving active help or encouragement (UBS).
The Father is concerned for the welfare of all the children of the King. The Father is not merely called the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. He demonstrates Who and What He is by taking action. He provides comfort and consolation through decisive intervention in real-time.
“God’s comfort strengthens weak knees and sustains sagging spirits so that one faces the troubles of life with unbending resolve and unending assurance” (Garland). Comfort not only connotes emotional relief and a sense of well-being, physical ease, satisfaction, and freedom from pain and anxiety. But it is so much more. The English word comfort is derived from the Latin term confortare, which means “to strengthen much.” It is composed of the Latin com + fortis. Fortis means brave, strong, or courageous. This is the kind of comfort that Paul has in mind (Garland). He not only comforts and encourages us, but He also makes us stronger in the process.
“The supreme result of all this is that we gain the power to comfort others who are going through it. Paul claims that the things which have happened to him and the comfort which he has received have made him able to be a source of comfort to others . . .. It is worthwhile experiencing suffering and sorrow if that experience will enable us to help others struggling with the stormy seas of life” (Barclay).
“J. M. Barrie tells how his mother lost her dearest son, and then he says: ‘That is where my mother got her soft eyes and why other mothers ran to her when they had lost a child.’” (Barclay). We are enabled to comfort others because of the comfort that we received in our times of trial and suffering. The Lord Jesus Christ shows us the way.
Hebrews 2:18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
The Father lovingly prunes us through the process of suffering and comfort. “Pruning means cutting, reshaping, and removing what diminishes vitality. When we look at a pruned vineyard, we can hardly believe it will bear fruit. But when harvest time comes we realize that the pruning enabled the vine to concentrate its energy and produce more grapes than it could have had it remained unpruned. Grateful people are those who can celebrate even the pains of life because they trust that when harvest time comes the fruit will show that the pruning was not punishment but purification” (Nouwen).
The Father has commissioned every child of the King to be a comforter courier. He comforts us so that we may be able to comfort others. We are to pay it forward.
2 Corinthians 1:4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
“We are not comforted to be comfortable but to be comforters” (BBC).