God of all Comfort
God of all Comfort
> Story of “Mistaken Identity” – how do you get over the hurt, how do you forgive & go on with life? Should you take legal action & sue for financial losses, agony, misery & hurt?
> These families need help; need the Father of mercies & God…
I. What is This Comfort?
A. Definition (2 Co. 1:4a)
“παρακαλέω” means lifting someone’s spirit or providing consolation & encouragement. It means to come along beside someone in misery while they are hurting & provide encouragement.
B. Source (2 Co. 1:3)
God Himself is the source or origin of this comfort; God who loves us & proved His love (Jn. 3:16). He is the source of all our blessings & meets every need (Jas. 1:17; Phil. 4:19).
II. Who Needs This Comfort (2 Co. 1:8-9)?
A. Believers who are afflicted (2 Co. 1:4, 8a)
Affliction “θλῖψις” means trouble that bring distress (external/internal). “all” & “any” affliction covers all areas of life – physical, spiritual, family, church, work, school, etc. = hunger, illness, jobless, rejection, slander… When “we” are afflicted we need God’s comfort – 2 Co. 1:4!
B. Believers who are in danger & facing death (2 Co. 1:8-9a)
Paul faced many dangers & threats for his life (2Co. 11:26). Many are living in danger & facing death for Christ today = anti-Christian countries; dangerous streets, neighborhoods & homes in USA. Some believers are facing death from illness – Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:27), hemorrhaging woman (Mt. 9:20f), Gene, Brad, AW, Angie, Carol, Virginia, Andrew, etc. When we face death we need God’s comfort!
III. Why Does God Comfort Us?
A. That we might praise our God (2 Co. 1:3)
Blessed or praise “εὐλογητός” is a word used in the NT only in reference to God. We acknowledge His goodness, blessings, faithfulness & care for us…
B. That we might comfort others (2 Co. 1:4)
Even though God is the source of the comfort, we are the agents. We are the one’s that hurting people see; they hear our words & feel our touch; we are to provide relief physically & financially… because God comforted us in the same ways when we were hurting. God handles the impossible so that we can handle matters that are possible.
C. That we might better understand fellowship (2 Co. 1:5-7, 11)
God places us in a church & brings other Christians into our lives so that we will not suffer alone. There is great benefit in us suffering together – our problems/troubles are not that unique (1Co. 10:13). There is also great benefit in being comforted together = fellowship in suffering & comfort! We also help each other by intercessory prayer (2 Co. 1:11). Prayer is a means of fellowship; getting involved in people’s lives.
D. That we might rely on God/not ourselves for help (2 Co. 1:9b-10)
It is not easy or natural to rely on God; it’s natural to rely on our skills, training, education, finances, medicine, etc. One of the purposes of dangers & trials of life is to make us rely on God for help – trouble that money, medicine, man’s knowledge cannot solve. The Christian is to know with certainty where our help comes from (Ps. 121:1-2).
ILL: NBC’s Today show, Dateline, Oprah & other wanted to talk to these families – how did they feel; what would they do; were they angry? Would they sue? Both families were Christians; both looked to Jesus for help & comfort. Both were comforted by God thru people & were able to comfort each other; both were able to forgive people that had caused them so much pain & loss…
APPL: Likewise you my brother/sister can be comforted regardless of your situation. God can help you in any & all situations; there is no hurt that Jesus cannot heal; no pain that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot relieve. Jesus is a sympathetic Savior & Priest for us. He has endured affliction of every kind, dangers & even faced death. So He fully understands what every believer is experiencing & He will comfort you…
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to leave here today bitter, angry, vindictive, defeated, discouraged, immersed in self-pity, wounded, doubts, fears… because the Father of mercies and God of all comfort has made Himself available to help you. But you must humble yourself & receive His comfort…
Every Christian here has experienced God’s comfort in some measure. I have mentioned some situations by name and I know & you know that you have been the gracious recipient of God’s comfort. For those who have been comforted, strengthened & encouraged by God, you are God’s agents to comfort others that are hurting; you are God’s hands, feet, mouth & ears to comfort others. Will submit yourself to suffer with your brothers & sisters right here at NHBC so that you can also be comforted with your brothers & sisters right here?
If you are not a Christian, I have good news for you today. You can also know this comfort that comes from God. But God must first become your heavenly Father & He cannot be your heavenly Father unless you trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe in Jesus today, your sins will be forgiven & you will become a child of God.
If you are not a member of a church or considering membership at a church, we would love to have you join us. You are not alone in your trouble & trials of life. Join with us as we face life’s challenges together & fellowship in God’s comfort together!