“Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
What an amazing two verses that talk about God’s comfort in our affliction and our comfort in others’ affliction. So, you read through these two verses and you see comfort, mentioned 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 different times, that word. And then you see affliction also mentioned over and over and over again. So you’ve got this picture of affliction, of suffering, of pain, of hurt in this world, with which we are all familiar in varying degrees. I think about one family in the church I pastor who is going through severe affliction right now, just pain and hurt and shock and despair. And just, I think about that reality in times in my life and I’m guessing times in your life. Maybe some of you are walking through it right now.
We have a God who gives comfort in affliction. He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.
We live in a world where affliction is real. And second Corinthians chapter one verses three and four remind us that we have a God who gives comfort in affliction. He is the father of mercies and the God of all comfort. That’s his name. Our God is the God of all comfort. Our God is the father of mercies and he comforts us in our affliction. Hear the good news of the Bible in this passage. When we walk through affliction, God is not distant from us. God is not far from us. God is with us. He comforts us in our affliction. I think about this family in the church I pastor that I just want to comfort them in every way I can. And to know that this is how God sees us in our affliction, that he comes to comfort us in our affliction.
Then the beauty here is not just so that we might receive his comfort but that as we are comforted by God himself, then we can be a reflection of his comfort to others. So that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. So I think about how God has been so gracious to me in affliction. I think about when my dad died and, oh, just the pain, the hurt, the sadness, the sorrow, and the comfort. The way God showed himself so gracious to my family, to me, in those days and still does today as I still miss my dad. When I see someone else in affliction, I want to be a reflection of that comfort from God to them. And this is the way the body of Christ works. We’re intended to care for one another with the same comfort we’ve received from God.
So I pray, oh God, right now, for people who are listening to this, who are walking through affliction, of all kinds. I won’t even presume to know all the ways that people are experiencing affliction right now. But God, I praise you that you know all those ways. You know every one of them. And not only do you know the affliction they’re walking through but you are the God of all comfort. You’re the father of mercy. So, shower your mercy down, I pray. Show your comfort. Bring your comfort in their affliction. God, we pray for this, for brothers and sisters right now who are walking through affliction. I pray for this and this family in the church I pastor, I pray for others in our churches that we know of. And then again, for people who are listening to this right now, please, oh God, please. We plead for you to show your comfort and we know your will. We know you will be faithful to your word. You are the God of all comfort.
And then I pray, Oh God, that you would help us as those who have been comforted by you to show your comfort to others and to love others well in affliction, to care for others well in affliction, to uphold one another, to pray for one another, to be with one another, to provide for one another in ways that show your comfort. God, we praise you, ultimately for sending Jesus into a world of suffering and sin, to pay the price for our sin. That we might have eternal life. That we might have the hope that one day there will be no more affliction. This is our greatest comfort. We know that suffering will not have the last word with you.
We praise you for your resurrection from the grave, Lord Jesus. We praise you that we have hope, that in this world, we have tribulation and affliction. But there’s coming a day when it will be over and you will wipe away every tear from our eyes. This is our greatest comfort and we praise you for it. We praise you for the hope we have in Christ and not just in the future, for the comfort we have from you today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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