3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
The Apostle Paul founded the church at Corinth and ministered there for 1 1/2 years. The church experienced some trouble after Paul was no longer there and he sent Timothy to the church to deal with the issues. The issues persisted and Paul had to visit the church himself to deal with those involved but issue was not resolved. He later sent Titus with a stern letter and Titus was able to report that problem was resolved.
Paul then wrote a second letter – 2 Corinthians with encouragement as one of the aims. As we look at the verses above from the letter, two things are very clear:
- believers can expect trouble and suffering
- comfort (encouragement) is available in God
Life comes with the “stuff” whether it is with the church, at home, at work, within the family, outside the family, in the world and on and on. There are times that we are hurting, disappointed, troubled, anxious and even depressed. I would dare to say that we all at one point or the other in life have had our moments of being the bear in the image below.
Look at his little eyes and mouth, his hand position and we know that he is sad and despondent. There is pain, suffering, anxiety that came about due to the circumstances and situations of life. Sometimes, the press can be so bad that even getting out the bed is a little too much.
I know that I have had those days in my life and have learned that one of the best ways around discouragement and depression is to move my focus from myself and my circumstance to the God who loves me so much that He gave His Son so we could have intimate relationship. This movement always begins with praise of the One, True and Living God and thanking Him that He is indeed my Father and I am His child.
It is my way of doing as the Psalmist declared in Psalm 24, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle (vs 7-8).” It is then that I am able to begin to defeat the enemy of soul and preach the Word over myself.
No matter what your battle may be today, please know that the King of Glory is strong and mighty in battle. This alone is worthy of our praise and should bring comfort and encouragement to our souls but look at verse 3 as well and find the listing of reasons to praise our God.
- He is God
- He is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
- He is the Father of compassion
- He is the God of all comfort
- He comforts us in all our troubles
He is the God who will make His presence known right in the room with us and strengthen us to respond to His command to “…Get up! Pick up your mat and walk (John 5:8).”
Yes, comfort is available in God. He will use His Word, His Spirit, and sometimes He sends someone like Paul who can encourage to walk by faith and not sight, to endure suffering to His glory and blessing of others. We will talk about that on tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m lifting up my head and letting the King of Glory come in! Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle!