Today, I found myself consumed by distress. I am worried, mad, and guilty at the same time. On my way to our church to attend the Sunday service, I felt that I cannot face the congregation with this downcast spirit. So I decided to make an alibi and just stopped by a coffee shop with my Bible.
God led me at 2 Corinthians: “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will 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)
“Father of all mercies” is an old Jewish synagogue prayer that called God for kindness, love, and tenderness while “God of all comfort” is an Old Testament description of God (Isaiah 40:1, 51:3,12, 66:13). The greek word for comfort is related to the familiar word “paraclete” which means “one who comes alongside to help” — which is another name that is given to the Holy Spirit, our helper. Wow, suddenly, I felt this feeling of relief, immediately responded to the messages that I’ve been ignoring since morning, and had the urge to continue studying this passage.
Here apostle Paul was saying that God came to him in the middle of his sufferings and troubles to strengthen him and give him courage and boldness. Paul has experienced all kinds of afflictions in his life and ministry. There was always something attempting to weaken him, restrict or confine his ministry, or even crush out his life but he knew that God would sustain and strengthen him. For what purpose? To comfort others! How noble is that? In verse 5, he highlighted, “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ”. With the trust that God’s comfort will never run-out, he is able to endure, even if these many sufferings may seem never-ending ( 2 Corinthians 4:7-11), and we are expected to do the same.
Brethren, in the most challenging times, remember that you share in the sufferings of Christ and just as he has overcome, you also will. Claim that you carry the brand-marks of Jesus and no trouble can overcome the Power vested upon you by the grace of Jesus (Galatians 6:17). We are sharers of his suffering and so we are sharers of his comfort. Through your afflictions, you are comforted to be able to share the same comfort to the ones you love for the glory of the Lord.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren.