2 Corinthians 1:3-4 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 have received from God.1. PRAISE BE TO GODWe should always be praising God. Praising God should be our lifestyle of choice. We should ‘bless the Lord at all times’!
Psalm 34:1 ‘I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ We should praise and bless the Lord at ALL times. This includes the good times and the bad times. The times of success and the times of failure, the times of health and the times of sickness, the times of confidence and the times of fear, the times of plenty and the times of lack, the times of hope and the times of despair. It is so easy to get into a complaining mode, but this robs us of our ability to trust God and makes us weak, so that we become discouraged and then we could be tempted to despair. The Apostle Paul had experienced many trials and afflictions, but he had also been blessed by many remarkable comforts from God, and so he could say: ‘Praise be to God!’. Praising God may be a response to His blessing and favour on your life. Praising God may also be prophetic, as we trust God to move in our situation. Praising God may also be a way in which we can take our eyes off of the prevailing issues and allow us to focus on our source!
2. GOD IS A GOD OF COMPASSION
2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion! The Bibles calls God the ‘Father of compassion!’ But what is compassion?
Definition: Compassion – ‘The sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it!’
This word ‘compassion’ comes from the Greek root word oiktirmos which includes aspects of pity, compassion, favor, grace and mercy and is translated in English as ‘compassion’! This word is used to indicate a deep feeling about someone's difficulty. God is a God of compassion, who has deep feelings towards the difficulties we may face. The word ‘compassion’ appears in the Bible 41 times in 39 verses. The Old Testament is full of verses which tell how the Lord is "Full of Compassion". In the New Testament we also see numerous uses of this word.
Matthew 9:36 Compassion on the multitude...of lost people.
Matthew 14:14 Compassion caused Him to heal the sick of the multitude there.
Matthew 15:32 Compassion caused Him to feed the multitude with loaves and fishes.
Matthew 20:34 Compassion caused Him to heal blinded eyes.
Matthew 1:41 Compassion moved Him to heal the Leper.
Luke 7:13 Compassion made Him raise the widow's son.
Not only is He a God of compassion, but He is moved by His compassion.
Mark 1:41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," He said. "Be healed!" If you just look at the word compassion it will amaze you the outcome of this word. Every time you see the word ‘Compassion’, a miracle took place. God is a God of compassion and He has compassion towards you today. It is that compassion that leads to a miracle or an answer in your situation! God is also the ‘Father of Compassion!’ This means that He is the source or the author of compassion. It is in God’s very nature to be compassionate towards you. By implication then, He is the source of the compassion you need and indirectly He is the source of the miracle that you need!
3. THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT - HE COMFORTS US!
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 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! Comfort for me is having exactly what I need when I need it! That is comfort. As a small child I would battle with sadness. It happened for no apparent reason. I would just become sad. My mother would be able to identify it when it happened. It was no good if people asked me what was wrong, because usually nothing was wrong. But my mother knew. She would sit me down on her lap. She coined a term for these ‘blue moments’ in my life and she would say: ‘is your heart sad?’ She just knew it. She would put her arms around me and hold me and tell me that it was ‘love time’. She would just be there. My heaviness would lift and I would go bounding out the house to continue playing. That for me is comfort – exactly what you need at the moment you need it. I remember experiencing something similar when my own father died. Some people would come with great words and philosophies about why he died or how they knew he would die. I suppose they were trying to comfort me, but it was not what I needed. Others came and just hugged me or gave me a simple scripture of encouragement and that was what I needed at that time. It was exactly what I needed when I needed it most. You see, God is the God of all comfort. He knows what you need when you need it most and He will make it available to you as you continue to reach out to Him and trust Him with your life.
2 Corinthians 7:6 …God, who comforts the downcast…..
Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted.
Note a few things:
A. God personally undertakes to comfort us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 …. the God of all comfort, who comforts us…. B. God comforts us on an on-going basis.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 …. who comforts us in all our troubles. He comforts us in ALL our troubles, not just some!
C. God’s comfort is effective.It is exactly what we need when we need it most.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ‘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 have received.’ The comfort God gives makes us effective so that we can be a comfort to others!
D. God’s comfort will never end.
He is the God of all comfort and He remains that God of all comfort because He never changes. There is an old song with the following profound words: ‘Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same. All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name! All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!’
4. GOD WANTS TO USE YOU TO COMFORT OTHERS
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 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 have received from God. I love this phrase: ‘who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble!’
As we receive comfort from God, we are in training so that we in turn and be a source of comfort to others. There are things that you have been through that qualify you to be a source of comfort to someone who is going through the same thing. Out of your misery can come your ministry! God expects us to comfort and have compassion for others (so that we can comfort those in any trouble!).
In Matthew 18:23-35 we see the story of the man who owed his master a large amount of money. He asked his master for mercy and his master forgave him and released him from his debts. He in turn went out and found someone who owed him money and he had this man thrown into jail. When the master heard about it, he was angry and asked: ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ As a result the man was handed over to the tormentors. It was the lack of compassion which caused the servant to be given to the tormentors. You were created by God to have compassion and bring comfort into the lives of others. The scripture, in terms of its wording, is very interesting:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 …. so that we can comfort those in ANY trouble! We are surrounded by people in all forms of trouble, and you and I can be a source of comfort to them. Don’t just live in your own world, look beyond and see those who need the comfort of God, through you, His chosen instrument!