2 Corinthians 1
I am not sure I ever noticed before that these 2 concepts were in the same passage.
Paul first of all describes God as “the God of all comfort.” The purpose of God’s comfort of us is so that we can comfort others (2 Cor 1:3). Our affliction and our comfort is for the benefit of those who witness our lives so that they will be encouraged to patiently endure the same suffering. (2 Cor 1:5-6)
After describing that, Paul talks about his afflictions. (2 Cor 1:8) “We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” In the midst of that affliction, Paul describes how he found God to be the God of all comfort. Even though they felt like they had received a death sentence, (2 Cor 1:9) they knew God to be the God of all comfort. Notice the truths they rely on for comfort:
- “This affliction caused me to not rely on myself, but to rely on God because, even if I do die, the God of all comfort is a God who raises people from the dead!” (2 Cor 1:9)
- He has delivered us from deadly peril, therefore I am confident that even now, He will deliver us. (2 Cor 1:10)
- On Him we have set our hope. (Hope is the confident expectation that God will keep his word) (Rom 5:3-5)
Paul doesn’t stop there. As he said earlier, God’s comfort is not just for our peace of mind and heart, it is SO THAT we can comfort others. Our affliction and comfort is also to encourage others toward faith. Paul lives that out here. “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted through the prayers of many.”
Paul is saying, “Pray for me, so that as you see God answer your prayers by comforting us, you will be comforted.” As you see God’s faithfulness to us, you will thank God on our behalf, and your faith will grow so you too will find God to be the God of all comfort!
- Our God is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions. There is nothing that happens without his permission.
- The purpose of BOTH the affliction and the comfort is for those who witness our lives, that they will be encouraged toward faith, and so that they too will find God to be the God of all comfort.
- Prayer is a faith builder. As we pray for God’s comfort and God grants it (not deliverance necessarily , but the blessing of comfort), it will cause you to thank God.