From 2 Corinthians 1-4
Today’s post is about comfort. Believers are meant to comfort others who are in pain, distress or affliction. If you’re in pain and need comfort. Reach out to God in prayer. And when you see others needing comfort as well. Reach out to them with the comfort you received from God.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Paul has a painful history with the Corinthian church. As we have seen in the last few days. Paul acknowledges this history over the letter. Here he speaks about the comfort God can give through difficult times.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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 Cor 1.3-4)
God comforts people who are being afflicted. The context is not clear why the Corinthians are being afflicted or how. Perhaps religious persecution? Perhaps their shared painful history? But God comforts them none the less. How are they comforted? I would hope all believers know the joy of salvation, perhaps with that. Perhaps his love poured into their hearts by the Holy Spirit? Perhaps something more specific to their affliction. Comforting words or relief. It is nice to be reminded that God cares for his people and does comfort them in times of distress.
But God’s comfort is not for these people alone. They can now pass on God’s comfort to others who are afflicted. So God is comforting multiple people by comforting the first one. Perhaps the effect of God’s grace and comfort on people is that they want to spread it around. Like dominos.
5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Cor 1.5-7)
It interesting to see how key aspects of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection plays out in Paul’s theology. Its the gospel. God’s people get involved in the story of Jesus. What happens to the Christ, happens to his people. Whether it be his suffering, his comfort, his death, burial and resurrection.
Paul and his troop have been afflicted as well. But then he says, ‘it is for your comfort and salvation’. Paul has not closed off others in his suffering. He has reached out. How counter-intuitive is that? Paul is sharing the comfort he received in order that they can be comforted and pass it on to others.
Words for believers
Believers are meant to comfort others who are in pain, distress or affliction. If you’re in pain and need comfort. Reach out to God in prayer. And when you see others needing comfort as well. Reach out to them with the comfort you received from God.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.